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BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 10 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6285

An alternative to Epley’s manoeuvre, which is the standard treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, was tested in 40 patients in whom the Epley had been deemed unsafe because of concomitant cervical spine problems. The proposed repositioning manoeuvre involved the patient wearing a rigid collar for the duration of the procedure. Ninety per cent of patients reported total relief from vertigo a week later. Three patients with residual symptoms gained total relief when the new procedure was repeated two weeks later (Journal of Laryngology and Otology 2010;124:1167-71, doi:10.1017/S0022215110000927).

The use of literature to teach medical humanism is common, but its use to teach psychiatry is unusual. A medical school offered an elective course on psychiatry and literature in the first year and assessed its effect on students’ later compulsory studies in psychiatry (Psychiatrist 2010;34:475-9, doi:10.1192/pb.bp.109.028803). Students who took the elective achieved significantly higher grades in fourth year psychiatry than those who did not. Some of the works studied included …

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