Evidence for Nursing: new evidence and resources – Quarter 2 2021

The latest evidence and resources for nurses 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 Nursing: 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 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).

Preventing bladder dysfunction after radical hysterectomy

Cochrane Review: Postoperative interventions for preventing bladder dysfunction after radical hysterectomy in women with early‐stage cervical cancer (January 2021)

Specialist breast care nurses

Cochrane Review: Specialist breast care nurses for support of women with breast cancer (February 2021)

Cardiovascular health

Alcohol intake

Cochrane Clinical Answers:

What are the effects of different alcohol doses (low, medium, high) on blood pressure and heart rate in adults?

How do cognitive‐behavioral programs compare with observation for promoting alcohol intake reduction in adults with hypertension?

Blood pressure targets

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For people with hypertension, how does a lower blood pressure (BP) target compare with a standard target?

Discontinuing antihypertensive medication

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of discontinuing antihypertensive medication prescribed to older adults for high blood pressure or heart disease prevention?

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

Salt reduction

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

Walking and blood pressure

Featured Review: The effect of walking on blood pressure control (February 2021)

Care of the newborn, including preterm infants

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?

Head position during nursing

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How do different head positions during nursing compare for improving outcomes for preterm infants?

Indomethacin for symptomatic patent ductus arteriosus

Cochrane Review: Indomethacin for symptomatic patent ductus arteriosus in preterm infants (January 2021)

Interventions to prevent cerebral palsy

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of interventions to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm or low birth weight infants?

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of interventions to prevent cerebral palsy in neonates with perinatal asphyxia or evidence of neonatal encephalopathy?

Lung recruitment manoeuvres in mechanically ventilated neonates

Cochrane Review: Lung recruitment manoeuvres for reducing mortality and respiratory morbidity in mechanically ventilated neonates (March 2021)

Management of transient tachypnoea of the newborn

Cochrane Review: Fluid restriction in the management of transient tachypnea of the newborn (February 2021)

Cochrane Review: Salbutamol for transient tachypnea of the newborn (February 2021)

Nutrition education

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How does nutrition education compare with conventional management for improving nutritional outcomes in term‐born infants?

Opioids for newborn infants receiving mechanical ventilation

Cochrane Review: Opioids for newborn infants receiving mechanical ventilation (March 2021)

Probiotics for prevention of necrotising enterocolitis

Cochrane Podcast: Probiotics for prevention of necrotising enterocolitis in very preterm or very low birthweight infants

Skin care to prevent eczema and food allergies

Featured Review: Does moisturising baby skin prevent eczema or food allergies?

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For infants, what are the effects of skin care to prevent or reverse an impaired skin barrier on the development of eczema and food allergies?

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?

Critical and emergency care

Antibiotic prophylaxis

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For adults and adolescents receiving intensive care, what are the effects of antibiotic prophylaxis to reduce respiratory tract infection and mortality?

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)


Sleep disturbance

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For older adults with Alzheimer’s dementia and sleep disturbances, what are the effects of orexin antagonists?

Support for informal carers

Cochrane Podcast: Remotely delivered information, training and support for informal caregivers of people with dementia

Withdrawal or continuation of cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine or both

Cochrane Review: Withdrawal or continuation of cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine or both, in people with dementia (February 2021)


March was Endometriosis Awareness Month and we had a special series on Evidently Cochrane and on social media, in partnership with Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility and a panel of clinical and patient experts. The series is introduced in this blog – Endometriosis: #MyEndometriosisQuestion – a special series. You can see all the Evidently Cochrane blogs in our endometriosis series here.

Cochrane news item: Endometriosis Awareness Month

Mental health

Postnatal depression

Cochrane Review: Antidepressant treatment for postnatal depression (February 2021)

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?

Postoperative pain

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How does diclofenac compare with placebo or other non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for adults with acute postoperative pain?

Pressure injury

Cochrane Review: Patient and lay carer education for preventing pressure ulceration in at‐risk populations (February 2021)

Cochrane Clinical Answers:

How does frequency of repositioning affect pressure injury in older adults?

How do different tilt positions affect pressure injury when older adults are repositioned?

Research participation

News item: Strategies that might help to encourage people to continue to participate in a randomised trial (a type of scientific study)

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)

School-based interventions

Cochrane Clinical Answer: How do physical activity interventions with or without healthy lifestyle education tools compare with a standard physical education curriculum for promoting school achievement and cognition among children and adolescents classified as overweight and obese?

Skin and soft tissue infection

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For people with skin and soft tissue infection, how do different systemic antibiotics compare?

Smoking cessation

Behavioural support

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

Cochrane Clinical Answers:

How do motivational and behavioral interventions compare with no intervention for smoking cessation?

How does mode of delivery impact effectiveness of motivational and behavioral 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?

Type of provider

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

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?


Cochrane Podcast: Vitamins and minerals for subfertility in women

Cochrane Clinical Answer: For women undergoing assisted reproduction for subfertility, what are the effects of antioxidants?

Wound care

Cleansing venous leg ulcers

Featured review: Does cleaning venous leg ulcers help them to heal?

The effectiveness of different solutions for cleansing venous leg ulcers is uncertain (very low-certainty evidence). No study compared cleansing with no cleansing, or different methods. None reported patient preference, ease of use, costs or health-related quality of life. There is uncertainty about unwanted effects associated with cleansing venous leg ulcers (very low-certainty evidence). Cochrane Review (published March 2021); 4 studies with 254 people, comparing different types of cleansing solutions for treating venous leg ulcers. Studies were conducted in outpatient departments or in the community.

Negative-pressure wound therapy for surgical wounds

Cochrane Clinical Answer: What are the effects of negative‐pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for people with surgical wounds healing by primary closure?

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 nursing 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 Nursing: new evidence and resources – Quarter 2 2021 by Sarah Chapman

is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

2 Comments on this post

  1. I just wanted to drop by and say that this blog post on new evidence and resources for nursing in Q2 2021 is fantastic. It’s great to see the latest research and information compiled in such an accessible way. Kudos to the authors for keeping us nurses in the loop. Looking forward to diving into these resources and staying up-to-date. Keep up the great work! 👩‍⚕️💪

    Shafi Ahamed / Reply
    • Have there been any studies or resources specifically focusing on the role of nurses in addressing mental health issues? It would be interesting to explore how nurses are being trained and supported to provide holistic care to patients with mental health concerns.

      Shafi / (in reply to Shafi Ahamed) Reply

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