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Reviews Minerva


BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 11 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:350

Glaucoma is often treated with topical β blocker drops, but many patients still end up needing surgery to maintain their visual fields. A retrospective follow up study over seven years found that over half the eyes initially treated with β blockers needed additional medication or trabeculectomy after five years and that selective β blockers were no better than non-selective ones at protecting eyes from progressive damage (British Journal of Ophthalmology 2001:85:962-8).

True to the reputation of doctors, Minerva's handwriting is as bad as it gets. A comparison of 40 doctors and nurses in a Scottish hospital supports the reputation and confirms that medical illegibility remains a problem in the workplace. On the up side, only 3% of all words written by the doctors were considered totally indecipherable, and the nurses' words were only 2% more legible. Paper-free environments may provide an answer, but new technology also brings its problems (Scottish Medical Journal 2001;46:79-80).

Faecal incontinence must be one of the worst problems faced by women after giving birth. A questionnaire survey of all women who delivered in three maternity units during one year gave a 9.6% prevalence for faecal incontinence …

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