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Excessive worry can negatively influence one’s developmental trajectories. In the past 70 years, there have been studies aimed towards documenting and analysing concerns or ‘worries’ of teen and preteen individuals. There have been many quantitative and qualitative approaches established, suggesting different themes of contextual adolescent worry. With the hopes of future clinical utility, it is important to parse through these studies and gather what is currently known about what teens and preteens worry about and what is the state of methods used to gather that knowledge. Studies were searched for using Web of Science, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus and ScienceDirect databases and selected on systematic criteria. Data regarding the country in which the study took place, participants, methods of collection, worry themes and conclusions and limitations were extracted. Data were synthesised in a narrative fashion. It was concluded that currently available methods of measuring themes of adolescent worry face certain problems. Themes of worry differ substantially between the studies, with the exception of school performance seeing stable high endorsement across cultures and ages. Issues with ordering worry themes and implications for future understanding of adolescent and preadolescent worry are discussed.
Comorbid physical conditions may be more common in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than other people.
To identify what is and what is not known about comorbid physical conditions in people with ASD.
We undertook an umbrella systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on comorbid physical conditions in people with ASD. Five databases were searched. There were strict inclusion/exclusion criteria. We undertook double reviewing for eligibility, systematic data extraction and quality assessment. Prospective PROSPERO registration: CRD42015020896.
In total, 24 of 5552 retrieved articles were included, 15 on children, 1 on adults, and 8 both on children and adults. Although the quality of included reviews was good, most reported several limitations in the studies they included and considerable heterogeneity. Comorbid physical conditions are common, and some are more prevalent than in the general population: sleep problems, epilepsy, sensory impairments, atopy, autoimmune disorders and obesity. Asthma is not. However, there are substantial gaps in the evidence base. Fewer studies have been undertaken on other conditions and some findings are inconsistent.
Comorbid physical conditions occur more commonly in people with ASD, but the evidence base is slim and more research is needed. Some comorbidities compound care if clinicians are unaware, for example sensory impairments, given the communication needs of people with ASD. Others, such as obesity, can lead to an array of other conditions, disadvantages and early mortality. It is essential that potentially modifiable physical conditions are identified to ensure people with ASD achieve their best outcomes. Heightening clinicians’ awareness is important to aid in assessments and differential diagnoses, and to improve healthcare.
Disasters can cause long-lasting damage to survivors and rescue workers. Some rescue workers suffer negative physical and psychological consequences, while others do not. Thus, it is of value to fully understand the characteristics of rescuers who have not been affected by rescue activities. Resilience refers to the ability or capacity to cope with adversity. The aim of this review is to explore and identify the characteristics of resilience among rescue workers. A systematic literature search was conducted of seven electronic databases from inception to May 2019, using keywords and medical subject heading terms related to the resilience of rescuers. Hand searches and searches of leading authors were also performed. A total of 31 articles were eligible for review. Six domains were identified to characterize the resilience of rescuers namely, demographic and physical characteristics, personality traits, coping strategies, perceived resources, being equipped with special skills for disaster rescue, and having less adverse consequences from exposure to disaster. Researchers and disaster managers can take note of these characteristics to comprehensively understand the ‘positive concept’ of resilience. This enhanced understanding of ‘positive resilience’ can in turn be used to develop a framework to assess and establish interventions, and consequently to improve the psychological wellbeing of rescuers after disaster rescue efforts.
Norway is interested in implementing remote patient monitoring (RPM) within primary health services. This systematic review will first identify the types of RPM that are of interest to Norwegian health authorities, then synthesize the effects of RPM on clinical health and health service utilization outcomes among adults with chronic diseases.
We will perform systematic literature searches in multiple databases, using RPM-related searches, such as telemedicine, telemonitoring, and eHealth. Based on what research exists, the review will be selected from a cascading menu of review types. Methodological quality will be assessed through appropriate checklists, while the quality of the evidence will be assessed through Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation.
This flexible protocol specifies the production of different possible types of reviews of RPM. It is anticipated that the results of the review will inform the development of effective RPM programs to the most appropriate chronic disease groups.
Higher intakes of sodium may contribute to weight gain. The primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the relationship between dietary sodium intake and measures of adiposity in children and adults. Given the previous link between sodium intake and the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), which are a known risk factor for obesity, a secondary aim examining the relationship between sodium intake and SSB consumption was assessed. A systematic literature search identified cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) which reduced dietary sodium (≥3 months). Meta-analysis was performed for outcomes with ≥3 studies. Cross-sectionally higher sodium intakes were associated with overweight/obesity in adults (5 studies; n=11,067; (OR) 1.74, 95%CI 1.43,2.13) and in children (3 studies; n=3625, OR=3.29,2.25, 4.80); and abdominal obesity (5 studies; n=19,744; OR=2.04, 1.72, 2.42) in adults. Overall, associations remained in sensitivity analyses which adjusted for energy. Findings from longitudinal studies were inconsistent. RCTs in adults indicated a trend for lower body weight on reduced sodium compared to control diets (15 studies; n=5274; -0.29 kg, -0.59,0.01; P=0.06), however it is unclear if energy intakes were also altered on reduced sodium diets. Among children higher sodium intakes were associated with higher intake of SSBs (4 studies, n=10,329, b=22, 16,26 g/d), no studies were retrieved for adults. Overall there was a lack of high quality studies retrieved. Whilst cross-sectional evidence indicates sodium intake was positively associated with adiposity, these findings have not been clearly confirmed by longitudinal studies or randomised controlled trials.
To critically review the literature regarding workplace breast-feeding interventions and to assess their impact on breast-feeding indicators.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. Electronic searches for workplace intervention studies to support breast-feeding, without restriction on language or study design, were performed in PubMed, CENTRAL, CINAHL, Embase, Web of Science, Business Source Complete, ProQuest-Sociology and ProQuest-Social Science to 13 April 2020. A meta-analysis of the pooled effect of the programmes on breast-feeding indicators was conducted.
The search identified 10 215 articles; fourteen studies across eighteen publications met eligibility criteria. Programmes were delivered in the USA (n 10), Turkey (n 2), Thailand (n 1) or Taiwan (n 1). There were no randomised controlled trials. The pooled OR for exclusive breast-feeding at 3 or 6 months for participants v. non-participants of three non-randomised controlled studies was 3·21 (95 % CI 1·70, 6·06, I2 = 22 %). Despite high heterogeneity, other pooled outcomes were consistently in a positive direction with acceptable CI. Pooled mean duration of breast-feeding for five single-arm studies was 9·16 months (95 % CI 8·25, 10·07). Pooled proportion of breast-feeding at 6 months for six single-arm studies was 0·76 (95 % CI 0·66, 0·84) and breast-feeding at 12 months for three single-arm studies was 0·41 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·62). Most programmes were targeted at mothers; two were targeted at expectant fathers.
Workplace programmes may be effective in promoting breast-feeding among employed mothers and partners of employed fathers. However, no randomised controlled trials were identified, and better-quality research on workplace interventions to improve breast-feeding is needed.
Healthcare decision makers are increasingly demanding that health technology assessment (HTA) is patient focused, and considers data about patients' perspectives on and experiences with health technologies in their everyday lives. Related data are typically generated through qualitative research, and in HTA the typical approach is to synthesize primary qualitative research through the conduct of qualitative evidence synthesis (QES). Abbreviated HTA timelines often do not allow for the full 6–12 months it may take to complete a QES, which has prompted the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) to explore the concept of “rapid qualitative evidence synthesis” (rQES). In this paper, we describe our experiences conducting three rQES at CADTH, and reflect on challenges faced, successes, and lessons learned. Given limited methodological guidance to guide this work, our aim is to provide insight for researchers who may contemplate rQES. We suggest several lessons, including strategies to iteratively develop research questions and search for eligible studies, use search of filters and limits, and use of a single reviewer experienced in qualitative research throughout the review process. We acknowledge that there is room for debate, though believe rQES is a laudable goal and that it is possible to produce a quality, relevant, and useful product, even under restricted timelines. That said, it is vital to recognize what is lost in the name of rapidity. We intend our paper to advance the necessary debate about when rQES may be appropriate, and not, and enable productive discussions around methodological development.
Emerging evidence demonstrates a link between preterm birth (PTB) and later life cardiovascular disease (CVD). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare conventional CVD risk factors between those born preterm and at term. PubMed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, and EMBASE databases were searched. The review protocol is registered in PROSPERO (CRD42018095005). CVD risk factors including systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), body mass index, lipid profile, blood glucose, and fasting insulin among those born preterm (<37 weeks’ gestation) were compared with those born at term (≥37 weeks’ gestation). Subgroup analyses based on gender, age, gestational at birth (<32 weeks’ gestation and <28 weeks’ gestation), and PTB associated with small for gestational age or average for gestational age were also performed. Fifty-six studies provided data on 308,987 individuals. Being born preterm was associated with 3.26 mmHg (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.08 to 4.44) higher mean SBP and 1.32 mmHg (95% CI: 0.61 to 2.04) higher mean DBP compared to being born at term. Subgroup analyses demonstrated that SBP was higher among (a) preterm compared to term groups from early adolescence until adulthood; (b) females born preterm but not among males born preterm compared to term controls; and (c) those born at <32 weeks or <28 weeks compared to term. Our meta-analyses demonstrate higher SBP and DBP among those born preterm compared to term. The difference in SBP is evident from early adolescence until adulthood.
This study aims to systematically review evidence of the accuracy of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) for evaluating the presence of cognitive impairment in patients with Huntington’s disease (HD) and to outline the quality and quantity of research evidence available about the use of the MoCA in this population.
We conducted a systematic literature review, searching four databases from inception until April 2020.
We identified 26 studies that met the inclusion criteria: two case–control studies comparing the MoCA to a battery of tests, three studies comparing MoCA to Mini-Mental State Examination, two studies estimating the prevalence of cognitive impairment in individuals with HD and 19 studies or clinical trials in which the MoCA was used as an instrument for the cognitive assessment of participants with HD. We found no cross-sectional studies in which participants received the index test (MoCA) and a reference standard diagnostic assessment composed of an extensive neuropsychological battery. The publication period ranged from 2010 to 2020.
In patients with HD, the MoCA provides information about disturbances in general cognitive function. Even if the MoCA demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity when used at the recommended threshold score of 26, further cross-sectional studies are required to examine the optimum cutoff score for detecting cognitive impairments in patients with HD. Moreover, more studies are necessary to determine whether the MoCA adequately assesses cognitive status in individuals with HD.
Previous systematic reviews showed no significant association between epilepsy and challenging behaviours in adults with intellectual disabilities.
To identify whether there is an association between epilepsy and challenging behaviour in adults with intellectual disabilities by carrying out a systematic review of published data. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020178092.
We searched five databases and hand-searched six journals. Two authors independently screened titles, abstracts and full articles using a standardised eligibility checklist. Several meta-analyses were carried out.
The narrative analysis of data from 34 included articles (14 168 adults with intellectual disabilities, 4781 of whom also had epilepsy) showed no significant association between epilepsy and challenging behaviour. Meta-analysis was possible on data from 16 controlled studies. This showed no significant intergroup difference but after sensitivity analysis meta-analysis of 10 studies showed a significantly higher rate of overall challenging behaviour in the epilepsy group (effect size: 0.16) compared with the non-epilepsy group. Aggression and self-injurious behaviour both showed a statistically significant higher rate in the epilepsy group, with very small effect sizes (0.16 and 0.28 respectively). No significant intergroup difference was observed in the rate of stereotypy.
The findings are contradictory and must be interpreted with caution because of the difficulty in pooling data from varied studies, which is likely to introduce confounding. Where significant differences were found, effect sizes are small and may not be clinically significant, and there are major methodological flaws in the included studies, which should be addressed in future large-scale properly controlled studies.
Ghana is in the process of formally introducing health technology assessment (HTA) for health decision making. Similar to other low- and middle-income countries, evidence suggests that the lack of data and human capacity is a major barrier to the conduct and use of HTA. This study assessed the current human and data capacity available in Ghana to undertake HTA.
As economic evaluation (EE) forms an integral part of HTA, a systematic review of EE studies undertaken in Ghana was conducted to identify the quality and number of studies available, methods and source of data used, and local persons involved. The literature search was undertaken in EMBASE (including MEDLINE), PUBMED, and Google Scholar. The quality of studies was evaluated using the Consolidated Health Economics Evaluation Reporting Standards. The number of local Ghanaians who contributed to authorship were used as a proxy for assessing human capacity for HTA.
Thirty-one studies were included in the final review. Overall, studies were of good quality. Studies derived their effectiveness, resource utilization and cost data mainly from Ghana. The most common source of cost data was from the National Health Insurance Scheme pricing list for medicines and tariffs. Effectiveness data were mostly derived from either single study or intervention programs. Sixty out of 199 authors were Ghanaians (30 percent); these authors were mostly involved in data collection and study conceptualization.
Human capacity for HTA in Ghana is limited. To introduce HTA successfully in Ghana, policy makers would need to develop more local capacity to undertake Ghanaian-specific HTA.
Due to urbanisation in China, about 7.74 million older people have migrated to urban centres, where their adult children reside and work, to care for their grandchildren. While older migrants may benefit from family reunion and mutual support, empirical studies have identified challenges to adaptation, integration and mental health. Employing a systematic literature review approach, this paper examines recent empirical studies on the mental health of older migrants migrating along with adult children in China, focusing on mental health and wellbeing outcomes and determinants and directions for social work interventions. It identifies directions for considering diversity in conceptualisations of mental health and in theoretical perspectives to enrich understanding of the experiences of Chinese older migrants migrating along with adult children and potential interventions.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been identified as a potential risk factor for developing dementia. There are currently, however, no meta-analyses quantifying this risk.
To systematically review and quantify the risk of future dementia associated with PTSD across populations. PROSPERO registration number CRD42019130392.
We searched nine electronic databases up to 25 October 2019 for longitudinal studies assessing PTSD and risk of dementia. We used random- and fixed-effects meta-analyses to pool estimates across studies.
PTSD was associated with a significant risk for all-cause dementia: pooled hazard ratio HR = 1.61 (95% CI 1.43–1.81, I2= 85.8%, P < 0.001; n = 1 693 678; 8 studies). Pooled HR was 1.61 (95% CI 1.46–1.78; I2= 80.9%, P < 0.001; n = 905 896; 5 studies) in veterans, and 2.11 (95% CI 1.03–4.33, I2= 91.2%, P < 0.001; n = 787 782; 3 studies) in the general population. The association between PTSD and dementia remained significant after excluding studies with high risk of bias (HR = 1.55, 95% CI 1.39–1.73, I2= 83.9%, P < 0.001; n = 1 684 928; 7 studies). Most studies included were retrospective and there was evidence of high heterogeneity.
This is the first meta-analysis quantifying the association of PTSD and risk of dementia showing that PTSD is a strong and potentially modifiable risk factor for all-cause dementia. Future studies investigating potential causal mechanisms, and the protective value of treating PTSD are needed.
Although grape polyphenols can decrease chronic inflammations, their effect on C-reactive protein (CRP) levels is still controversial. So, this meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effect of grape products containing polyphenols on CRP concentrations. In order to collect the relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the data bases of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched up to March 30, 2020. The random-effects model, standardized mean difference, and 95% confidence interval were applied in data analysis. Meta-analysis was conducted over 17 eligible RCTs containing a total of 668 participants. The study registration number is CRD42018110169. Based on the results, grape products containing polyphenol decreased the CRP levels significantly (SMD = -0.229; 95% CI: -0.41, -0.05; P = 0.013). The sensitivity analysis was performed by removing each individual study and the results did not change. According to the subgroup analysis, higher doses of grape polyphenols (˃ 500 mg/d) and longer intervention periods (≥ 12 wk) had significant effects on CRP levels. Furthermore, grape polyphenols significantly reduced the CRP levels in patients with a clinical condition. In the same vein, grape seed extract and other grape products, such as grape extract, juice, and raisin, decreased the CRP levels significantly. According to the meta-regression results, the CRP level depends on the dose and duration of the grape polyphenols supplementation. Based on the findings, grape products containing polyphenols had a significant effect on CRP levels. Further well-designed and long-term clinical trials are highly recommended to achieve more comprehensive and accurate results.
Mental health difficulties and mental disorders are common in adolescents living with HIV or who are affected by HIV because of living in HIV-affected households in low- and middle-income (LMICs) countries, but little is known about the interventions that target these individuals and whether they are effective.
This systematic review aims to address these gaps by examining what has worked and what has not worked to support the mental health of adolescents living with HIV or affected by HIV in low- and middle-income contexts (PROSPERO Number: CRD42018103269).
A systematic literature review of online databases from the year 2000 to 2018, using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, included English-language publications of quantitative evaluations of psychosocial interventions aiming to improve mental health among adolescents living with HIV and adolescents from HIV-affected households (aged 10–24 years) in LMICs.
Out of 2956 articles, 16 studies from 8 LMICs met the inclusion criteria. Thirteen studies focused on adolescents affected by HIV and only three studies on adolescents living with HIV. Only five studies included were from Sub-Saharan Africa. Interventions most often used a family-strengthening approach strengthening caregiver–adolescent relationships and communication and some problem-solving in groups or individually. Five studies reported statistically significant changes in adolescent and caregiver mental health or mental well-being, five among adolescents only and two among caregivers only.
Research on what works to improve mental health in adolescents living with HIV in LMIC is in its nascent stages. Family-based interventions and economic strengthening show promise.
Despite the robust body of work on cognitive aspects of bipolar disorder (BD), a clear profile of associated impairments in impulsivity, decision-making and risk-taking from studies that use behavioural measures has yet to be established. A systematic review, across four electronic databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE/PubMed, ScienceDirect and Scopus), of literature published between January 1999 and December 2018 was carried out in accordance with the PRISMA statement. The protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42018114684). A fixed-effect and random-effects meta-analysis using the Hedges' g (ES) estimate was performed. The analysis revealed significant impairment in BD individuals with medium effect sizes in various aspects of impulsivity – response inhibition (ES = 0.49; p < 0.0001), delay of gratification (ES = 0.54; p < 0.0001) and inattention (ES = 0.49; p < 0.0001) – and in decision-making (ES = 0.61, p = 0.0002), but no significant impairment in risk-taking behaviour (ES = 0.41; p = 0.0598). Furthermore, we found significant heterogeneity between studies for decision-making and risk-taking behaviour but not for impulsivity. Impaired risk-taking behaviour was significant in a subgroup of BD-I and euthymic individuals (ES = 0.92; p < 0.0001) with no significant heterogeneity. A stratification analysis revealed comparable results in euthymic and non-euthymic individuals for impulsivity. Our findings suggest that behaviour impulsivity is elevated in all phases of BD, representing a core and clinically relevant feature that persists beyond mood symptoms. More studies about decision-making and risk-taking are necessary to establish if they are impaired in BD and to analyze the role of mood state.
To conduct a systematic review of studies for the validation of semiquantitative FFQ (SFFQ) that assess food intake in adults.
The authors conducted a systematic search in PubMed for articles published as late as January 2020 in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. Individual searches (twelve in total) paired three hyphenated and non-hyphenated variations of ‘semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire’ with both ‘validity’ and ‘validation’ using the ‘all fields’ and the ‘title/abstract’ retrieval categories. Independent extraction of articles was performed by four authors using predefined data fields.
We searched for original SFFQ validation studies that analysed general diet composition (nutrients with or without food groups or energy analysis) in healthy adults, in any setting, and that also reported correlation coefficients.
Sixty articles were included. The preferred comparison standard for validation was food records (n 37). The main correlation coefficients used were Pearson’s (n 41), and validity coefficients varied from −0·45 to 1. Most correlation coefficients were adjusted by energy (twelve studies presented only crude values). The elements mentioned most frequently were energy, macronutrients, cholesterol, SFA, PUFA, fibre, vitamin C, Ca and Fe.
Although all these SFFQ are reported as validated, coefficients may vary across groups of foods and nutrients. Based on our findings, we suggest researchers to consult our revision before choosing a SFFQ and to review important issues about them, such as their validation, number of items, number of participants, etc. Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO number CRD42017064716. Available at: http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.asp?ID=CRD42017064716.
While neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are highly heritable, several environmental risk factors have also been suggested. However, the role of familial confounding is unclear. To shed more light on this, we reviewed the evidence from twin and sibling studies. A systematic review was performed on case control and cohort studies including a twin or sibling within-pair comparison of neurodevelopmental outcomes, with environmental exposures until the sixth birthday. From 7,315 screened abstracts, 140 eligible articles were identified. After adjustment for familial confounding advanced paternal age, low birth weight, birth defects, and perinatal hypoxia and respiratory stress were associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and low birth weight, gestational age and family income were associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), categorically and dimensionally. Several previously suspected factors, including pregnancy-related factors, were deemed due to familial confounding. Most studies were conducted in North America and Scandinavia, pointing to a global research bias. Moreover, most studies focused on ASD and ADHD. This genetically informed review showed evidence for a range of environmental factors of potential casual significance in NDDs, but also points to a critical need of more genetically informed studies of good quality in the quest of the environmental causes of NDDs.
Mixed home care, in which informal and professional actors work closely together, contributes significantly to ensuring home care up to old age. In this context, collaboration applications can considerably enhance the interactions among caregivers. However, although much research is conducted on need and requirement analyses of such applications, little is known about their introduction and use in care models. The purpose of this contribution is to identify studies that evaluate collaboration applications for mixed home care and compare their outcomes.
To identify literature on mixed home care collaboration applications (mHCA) and their evaluation, a systematic literature review was conducted in five bibliographic databases covering the years 2008 through 2019. The results were supplemented by a search in the meta-database Google Scholar. The evaluation approaches of the studies were analyzed and results compared by using the NASSS framework. Finally, a context concretized model was derived which summarizes interrelations.
Twelve qualitative studies evaluating eleven applications could be identified. They report on increased competency in self-management, psychological relatedness, involvement, and understanding. However, most studies conclude that large scale platform tests are still needed to prove significant changes in care processes, communication, or organization.
Among other things, their implementation is rather difficult due to the specifics of the target group. To enable a more targeted and successful implementation, it might be helpful to classify care networks beforehand and assess their communication behavior and needs. To prove the added value of mHCAs standardized assessment tools should be used.
Over the past 15 years, there has been substantial growth in web-based psychological interventions. We summarize evidence regarding the efficacy of web-based self-directed psychological interventions on depressive, anxiety and distress symptoms in people living with a chronic health condition.
We searched Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE databases and Cochrane Database from 1990 to 1 May 2019. English language papers of randomized controlled trials (usual care or waitlist control) of web-based psychological interventions with a primary or secondary aim to reduce anxiety, depression or distress in adults with a chronic health condition were eligible. Results were assessed using narrative synthases and random-effects meta-analyses.
In total 70 eligible studies across 17 health conditions [most commonly: cancer (k = 20), chronic pain (k = 9), arthritis (k = 6) and multiple sclerosis (k = 5), diabetes (k = 4), fibromyalgia (k = 4)] were identified. Interventions were based on CBT principles in 46 (66%) studies and 42 (60%) included a facilitator. When combining all chronic health conditions, web-based interventions were more efficacious than control conditions in reducing symptoms of depression g = 0.30 (95% CI 0.22–0.39), anxiety g = 0.19 (95% CI 0.12–0.27), and distress g = 0.36 (95% CI 0.23–0.49).
Evidence regarding effectiveness for specific chronic health conditions was inconsistent. While self-guided online psychological interventions may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress in people with chronic health conditions in general, it is unclear if these interventions are effective for specific health conditions. More high-quality evidence is needed before definite conclusions can be made.