Intended for healthcare professionals

Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1284

Observing the miraculous effects of a quick knee massage on the performance of a felled footballer, Minerva has often wondered if the effect was psychological. A team of sports scientists report that it probably is (British Journal of Sports Medicine 2000;34:109-15). Their study—in amateur boxers—showed that massage had no impact on the physiology of recovery between bouts, although it made the boxers feel better.

Despite a clutch of controlled trials, it's still unclear whether or not steroids arean effective treatment for bronchiolitis in infants. A combined analysis of the six besttrials shows that length of stay and duration of symptoms are both reduced by steroids, although the authors think there is still room for at least one more trial—preferably a big one—to find out which infants benefit the

It should be clear by now that people who give up smoking after a heart attack live longer than those who don't. Giving up smoking is more effective than thrombolysis, aspirin, or β blockers, cutting mortality by up to 61%, according to a meta-analysis of cohort studies (Archives of Internal Medicine …

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