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Synovium front cover

Issue 26 (Spring 2009)

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An abundance of interesting studies in recent months means that this issue of Synovium is full to bursting point and some items are rather short. The first two offerings are more than just interesting and informative. They challenge some of our thinking about treatments in an evidence-based world. The original papers are a demanding read; the accompanying editorials, however, are both helpful and enlightening. It really is worth reading the editorials in full and then lying down with a hot towel around the head, while reflecting on the implications.

Adrian Dunbar, Medical Editor

It makes you think (1)

The notion of a placebo as an inactive 'dummy' treatment in randomised controlled trials is fading rapidly.

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It makes you think (2)

Another fascinating study with accompanying editorial examined the effect of patient preferences for treatments for musculoskeletal disorders in randomised controlled trials.

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So involve the patients in decision-making about their condition and its treatment

In a study of oatients attending a rheumatology clinic with psoriatic arthropathy it was found that the more patients were involved in decision-making the more they reported satisfaction with their care.

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It makes you think (again)

Patients with chronic pain disorders are at increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease...

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Alcohol reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis

Alcohol reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. However we should remember that alcohol has multiple effects with respect to risk of developing disease and the overall effects are likely to be negative.

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Double whammy for steroid injections in shoulder pain

We have previously reported that local steroid injections appear to offer only short-term pain relief in tennis elbow and in the longer term are inferior to physiotherapy interventions. It now seems that the benefits are not extensive in shoulder pain either.

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