Evidence for Allied Health: new evidence and resources – Quarter 2 2021

The latest evidence and resources for allied health professionals and clinical support staff. You can either scroll through this page or click on any of the links below to jump to the relevant section.

Please note, unlike the rest of our blogs, our ‘Evidence for Allied Health: new evidence and resources’ blogs will not be updated.




Cochrane is producing reviews and resources for the COVID-19 pandemic. We have blogged about many of them and this blog COVID-19 evidence: a Cochrane round-up brings together a large collection of evidence and resources, starting from when this evidence was first being produced in spring 2020. Like the reviews themselves, all our blogs are updated to reflect new evidence.

Cochrane’s response to the pandemic had to meet the needs of evidence users and decision‐makers as it developed and how this is being done is discussed in an Editorial COVID-19: working together and making a difference for decision-makers. Cochrane has also signed on to the World Health Organization’s call for action about managing infodemics and WHO’s Vaccine Equity Declaration. You can read about Cochrane Rehabilitation’s work with the WHO in Cochrane Rehabilitation vs COVID-19: Compiling the best available evidence rapidly.

You may also be interested to know about iHealthFacts, an online resource where anyone can ask for the evidence behind health claims. Read more in Cochrane Ireland vs COVID-19: iHealthFacts.ie ‘fact checking’ claims in a pandemic.

Cochrane Special Collections

Cochrane Special Collections assemble Cochrane Reviews on important topics for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. They are developed with experts from our global Cochrane network. They are based on World Health Organization interim guidance, and continuously updated. You can find Coronavirus (COVID-19) Special Collections here. Among them is Coronavirus (COVID-19): evidence relevant to critical care, most recently updated in March 2021.

Cochrane Podcasts

Cochrane COVID-19 Podcasts offer short summaries of Cochrane COVID-19 reviews from the authors themselves. A good way to hear the latest Cochrane evidence in under 5 minutes each.

Cochrane Clinical Answers

Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically-focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews. They are designed to be actionable and to inform point-of-care decision-making.

Each CCA contains a clinical question, a short answer, and data for the outcomes from the Cochrane Review deemed most relevant to practising healthcare professionals. The evidence is displayed in a user-friendly tabulated format that includes narratives, data, and links to graphics.

You can find Cochrane Clinical Answers related to COVID-19 here.

Best of the Cochrane Library

Best of the Cochrane Library: 2020 in review


Brain tumour diagnosis and management

Special Collection: Brain tumour diagnosis and management

The Evidently Cochrane blog Diagnosing and treating brain tumours: reflections on the latest Cochrane evidence has been written for people living with a brain tumour, healthcare practitioners and anyone with an interest in brain tumours. In it, Helen Bulbeck, Cochrane consumer representative and director of policy and services for brainstrust, looks at the latest Cochrane evidence on brain tumours and reflects on what this special collection means for the brain tumour community and why collaboration has been key to the success of this work.

A new Cochrane Special Collection brings together reviews focusing on three broad areas of brain tumour diagnosis and treatment: 1) How do I get a prompt, safe and accurate diagnosis? 2) Shared decision making and risk sharing in glioma 3) Understanding the best treatment when decisions are difficult At every stage people living with brain cancer have been central to this work, from identifying the topics, applying for funding of the reviews, ensuring the lay summaries are simple and accessible, and developing future studies The collection reflects true collaboration between Cochrane, the James Lind Alliance, the National Institute of Health Research, the National Cancer Research Institute and, most importantly, people who are living with brain cancer.

Exercise for cachexia 

Cochrane Review: Exercise for cancer cachexia in adults (March 2021)

Children – virtual reality to distract from pain in healthcare settings

Cochrane Podcast: What are the benefits and risks of using virtual reality in a healthcare setting to distract children from pain?

Chronic kidney disease

Low protein diet for adults with chronic kidney disease

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of a low‐protein diet for non‐diabetic adults with chronic kidney disease?

Critical and emergency care

Community first responders and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What is the RCT evidence for community first responders attending people who have had an out‐of‐hospital cardiac arrest?

High-flow nasal cannulae

Cochrane Review: High‐flow nasal cannulae for respiratory support in adult intensive care patients (March 2021)

Oral care for mechanically ventilated patients

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of chlorhexidine rinses and toothbrushing for critically ill people who are mechanically ventilated?


Featured Review: What are healthcare stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of factors affecting the implementation of critical care telemedicine? (February 2021)

Cystic fibrosis

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For people with cystic fibrosis, what are the effects of treatment with lumacaftor plus ivacaftor?

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For people with cystic fibrosis, what are the effects of treatment with tezacaftor plus ivacaftor (with or without VX-659 or elexacaftor)?

Dietary salt

Salt reduction

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How does dietary salt reduction affect cardiovascular biomarkers and hormone levels in healthy normotensive and hypertensive adolescents and adults?

Diet – preterm infants

Cochrane Reviews:

 Enteral zinc supplementation for prevention of morbidity and mortality in preterm neonates (March 2021)

High versus low medium chain triglyceride content of formula for promoting short‐term growth of preterm infants (February 2021)

High versus standard volume enteral feeds to promote growth in preterm or low birth weight infants (March 2021)

Individualized versus standard diet fortification for growth and development in preterm infants receiving human milk (November 2020)

Cochrane Clinical Answers:

 For preterm infants receiving human milk, how do individualized and standard fortification diets compare?

What are the effects of different protein concentrations of human milk fortifier for promoting growth and neurological development in preterm infants?

Flexor tendon injuries of the hand

Cochrane Review: Rehabilitation following surgery for flexor tendon injuries of the hand (January 2021)

Intermittent claudication

In the blog Exercise for intermittent claudication: does the type of exercise make a difference? Dr Rebecca Gould, Sport and Exercise Medicine Registrar and Cochrane UK Fellow, looks at the latest Cochrane evidence on exercise for intermittent claudication (lower leg pain that comes on during exercise) and explores if the type of exercise undertaken makes a difference.

• Updated physical activity guidelines from the UK Chief Medical Officer and the World Health Organisation note that the evidence base for physical activity has become more compelling. • There is a Special Collection of Cochrane Reviews on physical activity for healthy ageing. • Healthcare professionals have an important role in getting the evidence into real-life practice. • Encourage everyone to be active in their own way and don’t forget muscle strengthening activities

There is also a Cochrane Clinical Answer: How do alternative modes of exercise training compare with supervised walking for people with intermittent claudication?


Older people with visual impairment: interventions vs visits

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For older people with visual impairment, how do environmental and behavioral interventions compare with social/home visits?

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For older adults with visual impairment, how do environmental and/or behavioural interventions compare? 

Organization of care

Patient access to electronic health records

Featured Review: Do patients manage their health care better if they can access their electronic health records?

Multimorbidity – organizational interventions

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of organizational interventions directed toward people with multimorbidity?

Perioperative care

Melatonin for anxiety

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For adults with preoperative and postoperative anxiety, what are the effects of melatonin?

Respiratory disease

Anti-IL5 therapies for COPD

Featured review: Anti-IL5 therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic respiratory disease and telemedicine

Cochrane Review: Telerehabilitation for chronic respiratory disease (January 2021)

Exercise training for bronchiectasis

Cochrane Review: Exercise training for bronchiectasis (April 2021)

Pulmonary rehabilitation for interstitial lung disease

Cochrane Review: Pulmonary rehabilitation for interstitial lung disease (February 2021)

Rotator cuff disease

Shockwave therapy

Cochrane Clinical Answers:

 How does high‐dose shockwave therapy compare with low‐dose shockwave therapy for people with rotator cuff disease?

How does shockwave therapy compare with placebo for people with rotator cuff disease?

Smoking cessation

Behavioural support

Featured Review: Does behavioural support help people to stop smoking?

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How do motivational and behavioral interventions compare with no intervention for smoking cessation?

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How does mode of delivery impact effectiveness of motivational and behavioural smoking cessation interventions? 

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How does type of provider impact effectiveness of motivational and behavioural smoking cessation interventions? 


Cochrane Podcast: Let’s talk e-cigarettes

Eight ways to quit

Eight ways to quit smoking in 2021: video talks through the Cochrane evidence.

Smoking cessation and mental health

Cochrane Review: Smoking cessation for improving mental health (March 2021)

Cochrane Podcast: Smoking cessation for improving mental health

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of smoking cessation on anxiety and depression?

Stroke rehabilitation

Cochrane Clinical Answers:

How does motor imagery compare with other therapies for gait rehabilitation in adults after stroke?

How does stroke rehabilitation informed by evidence‐based practice compare with treatment as usual for stroke survivors and healthcare professionals?

What are the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) after stroke?

Coming up

Virtually Cochrane: an online event

Registration is now open for ‘Virtually Cochrane’, an online event for all those involved with, or interested in, planning, doing, sharing and using health and healthcare evidence. It will take place on 20 – 22 April 2021. You can read all about it, and register, here.


The next collection of evidence will be published here in July 2021. We may have new blogs and blogshots on individual reviews meanwhile.  You can find all our blogs relevant to allied health here and blogshots here.

Join in the conversation on Twitter with @CochraneUK or leave a comment on the blog.

Please note, we cannot give specific medical advice and do not publish comments that link to individual pages requesting donations or to commercial sites, or appear to endorse commercial products. We welcome diverse views and encourage discussion but we ask that comments are respectful and reserve the right to not publish any we consider offensive. Cochrane UK does not fact check – or endorse – readers’ comments, including any treatments mentioned.

References (pdf)

Sarah Chapman and Selena Ryan-Vig have nothing to disclose.

Evidence for Allied Health: new evidence and resources – Quarter 2 2021 by Sarah Chapman

is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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