Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Constitutional monarchy


In the United Kingdom (UK), medical schools are free to develop local systems and policies that govern student assessment and progression. Successful completion of an undergraduate medical degree results in the automatic award of a provisional licence to practice medicine by the General Medical Council (GMC). Such a licensing process relies heavily on the assumption that individual schools develop similarly rigorous assessment policies. Little work has evaluated variability of undergraduate medical assessment between medical schools. That absence is important in the light of the GMC’s recent announcement of the introduction of the UKMLA (UK Medical Licensing Assessment) for all doctors who wish to practise in the UK. The present study aimed to quantify and compare the volume, type and intensity of summative assessment across medicine (A100) courses in the United Kingdom, and to assess whether intensity of assessment correlates with the postgraduate attainment of doctors from these schools.

Concepts: Evaluation, Physician, Assessment, United Kingdom, Antibiotic, Constitutional monarchy, Decolonization, General Medical Council


From a research perspective, the interest in biobanking continues to intensify. Governments and industry have invested heavily in biobanks, as exemplified by initiatives like the United Kingdom Biobank and United States' Precision Medicine Initiative. But despite this enthusiasm, many profound legal and ethical challenges remain unresolved. Indeed, there continues to be disagreements about how best to obtain consent and the degree and nature of control that research participants retain over donated samples and health information. Emerging social trends-including concerns about commercialization and perceived rights of continuing control (“biorights”)-seem likely to intensify these issues.

Concepts: DNA, European Union, United Kingdom, Law, English language, Constitutional monarchy, Common law, Referendum


Housing security is an important determinant of mental ill health. We used a quasinatural experiment to evaluate this association, comparing the prevalence of mental ill health in the United Kingdom before and after the government’s April 2011 reduction in financial support for low-income persons who rent private-sector housing (mean reduction of approximately £1,220 ($2,315) per year). Data came from the United Kingdom’s Annual Population Survey, a repeated quarterly cross-sectional survey. We focused our analysis on renters in the private sector, disaggregating data between an intervention group receiving the government’s Housing Benefit (n = 36,859) and a control group not receiving the Housing Benefit (n = 142,205). The main outcome was a binary measure of self-reported mental health problems. After controlling for preexisting time trends, we observed that between April 2011 and March 2013, the prevalence of depressive symptoms among private renters receiving the Housing Benefit increased by 1.8 percentage points (95% confidence interval: 1.0, 2.7) compared with those not receiving the Housing Benefit. Our models estimated that approximately 26,000 (95% confidence interval: 14,000, 38,000) people newly experienced depressive symptoms in association with the cuts to the Housing Benefit. We conclude that reducing housing support to low-income persons in the private rental sector increased the prevalence of depressive symptoms in the United Kingdom.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Statistics, Illness, United Kingdom, Interval finite element, Mental disorder, Constitutional monarchy


Background:There are wide international differences in 1-year cancer survival. The UK and Denmark perform poorly compared with other high-income countries with similar health care systems: Australia, Canada and Sweden have good cancer survival rates, Norway intermediate survival rates. The objective of this study was to examine the pattern of differences in cancer awareness and beliefs across these countries to identify where these might contribute to the pattern of survival.Methods:We carried out a population-based telephone interview survey of 19 079 men and women aged 50 years in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK using the Awareness and Beliefs about Cancer measure.Results:Awareness that the risk of cancer increased with age was lower in the UK (14%), Canada (13%) and Australia (16%) but was higher in Denmark (25%), Norway (29%) and Sweden (38%). Symptom awareness was no lower in the UK and Denmark than other countries. Perceived barriers to symptomatic presentation were highest in the UK, in particular being worried about wasting the doctor’s time (UK 34%; Canada 21%; Australia 14%; Denmark 12%; Norway 11%; Sweden 9%).Conclusion:The UK had low awareness of age-related risk and the highest perceived barriers to symptomatic presentation, but symptom awareness in the UK did not differ from other countries. Denmark had higher awareness of age-related risk and few perceived barriers to symptomatic presentation. This suggests that other factors must be involved in explaining Denmark’s poor survival rates. In the UK, interventions that address barriers to prompt presentation in primary care should be developed and evaluated.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 31 January 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2012.542

Concepts: Europe, Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary system


What is the prevalence of different types of potentially hazardous prescribing in general practice in the United Kingdom, and what is the variation between practices?

Concepts: Natural selection, United Kingdom, England, Constitutional monarchy, Decolonization, Northern Ireland, Kingdom of England, Personal union


In Japan, new HPV immunizations have dropped dramatically after repeated adverse media reports and a June 2013 temporary suspension of the government’s recommendation for the vaccine. The aim of the present study was to develop an efficient strategy to improve HPV immunization coverage across Japan.

Concepts: Immune system, Vaccination, Constitutional monarchy


To evaluate the efficacy and safety of current trabeculectomy surgery in the United Kingdom.

Concepts: United Kingdom, England, 21st century, Constitutional monarchy, London, Decolonization, Trabeculectomy, Personal union


Our objective was to determine whether components of fixed orthodontic appliances as received from the manufacturers and after exposure to the clinical environment are free from microbial contamination before clinical use. A pilot molecular microbiologic laboratory study was undertaken at a dental hospital in the United Kingdom.

Concepts: Hospital, United Kingdom, Antibiotic, England, Clinic, Orthodontics, Constitutional monarchy, Types of healthcare facilities


To assess the between hospital variation in use of guideline recommended treatments and clinical outcomes for acute myocardial infarction in Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Concepts: Cohort study, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, United Kingdom, Constitutional monarchy


To identify implementation lessons from the United Kingdom Delivering Assisted Living Lifestyles at Scale (dallas) program-a large-scale, national technology program that aims to deliver a broad range of digital services and products to the public to promote health and well-being.

Concepts: United Kingdom, Nursing, England, New York City, Ireland, Constitutional monarchy, Decolonization, Personal union