Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 15 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:186

Minerva is used to researchers describing the studies in a meta-analysis as poor, inadequate, or badly reported. It makes a nice change to read one team's account of the “outstanding” studies in theirs ( The five trials looked at the impact of inhaled steroids on children's growth. Taken together, they show that moderate doses of inhaled steroids slow growth by 0.5-1.5 cm a year. The effect of these drugs on final adult height remains unknown.

Waking up in the morning puts a strain on the heart because of a surge in blood pressure and heart rate. Waking up after an afternoon nap is no better. Research from Costa Rica finds a clear link between taking a siesta and having a myocardial infarction (International Journal of Epidemiology 2000;29:429-37). The lack of physical exercise associated with snoozing in the afternoon may also be a contributory factor.

Senior house officers in accident and emergency departments have little time to develop their communication skills, but even a small amount of training can pay off for patients (Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine 2000;17:251-3). A day's workshop for doctors reduced complaints and increased patient satisfaction in one “before and after” study from Hong Kong. Another study in the same journal (426–50) describes how …

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