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1.  Second thoughts 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1552.
PMCID: PMC1322266
2.  Slow tracking for BMJ papers 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1551-1552.
An editor argues against the current enthusiasm for fast tracking pages
PMCID: PMC1322265  PMID: 16373749
3.  What is successful ageing and who should define it? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1548-1551.
A definition of successful ageing needs to include elements that matter to elderly people
PMCID: PMC1322264  PMID: 16373748
4.  Obesity: the elephant in the corner 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1545-1548.
In 2055, everybody knew that obesity was a problem, but what did they do about it?
PMCID: PMC1322263  PMID: 16373747
5.  Cinderella revisited 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1543-1544.
Objective To examine the references to Cinderella in medical literature.
Design Analysis of papers published in the past 50 years that mention Cinderella.
Results The trend for use of Cinderella as a metaphor in medical publications is increasing exponentially. Five separate themes emerged: neglect, identity, transformation, exhaustion, and the mixed metaphor.
Conclusions The medical use of the Cinderella fable is growing in popularity
PMCID: PMC1322262  PMID: 16373746
6.  From Shakespeare to Star Trek and beyond: a Medline search for literary and other allusions in biomedical titles 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1540-1542.
Objectives To document biomedical paper titles containing literary and other allusions.
Design Retrospective survey.
Setting Medline (1951 to mid-2005) through Dialog Datastar.
Main outcome measure Allusions to Shakespeare, Hans Christian Andersen, proverbs, the Bible, Lewis Carroll, and movie titles, corrected and scaled for five year periods 1950-4 to 2000-4.
Results More than 1400 Shakespearean allusions exist, a third of them to “What's in a name” and another third to Hamlet—mostly to “To be or not to be.” The trend of increasing use of allusive titles, identified from Shakespeare and Andersen, is paralleled by allusions to Carroll and proverbs; the trend of biblical allusions is also upward but is more erratic. Trends for newer allusions are also upwards, including the previously surveyed “paradigm shift.” Allusive titles are likely to be to editorial or comment rather than to original research.
Conclusions The similar trends are presumably a mark of a particular learnt author behaviour. Newer allusions may be becoming more popular than older ones. Allusive titles can be unhelpful to reviewers and researchers, and many are now clichés. Whether they attract readers or citations is unknown, but better ways of gaining attention exist.
PMCID: PMC1322261  PMID: 16373745
7.  Epidemiology and prognosis of coma in daytime television dramas 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1537-1539.
Objective To determine how soap operas portray, and possibly misrepresent, the likelihood of recovery for patients in coma.
Design Retrospective cohort study.
Setting Nine soap operas in the United States reviewed between 1 January 1995 and 15 May 2005.
Subjects 64 characters who experienced a period of unconsciousness lasting at least 24 hours. Their final status at the end of the follow-up period was compared with pooled data from a meta-analysis.
Results Comas lasted a median of 13 days (interquartile range 7-25 days). Fifty seven (89%) patients recovered fully, five (8%) died, and two (3%) remained in a vegetative state. Mortality for non-traumatic and traumatic coma was significantly lower than would be predicted from the meta-analysis data (non-traumatic 4% v 53%; traumatic 6% v 67%; Fisher's exact test both P < 0.001). On the day that patients regained consciousness, most (49/57; 86%) had no evidence of limited function, cognitive deficit, or residual disability needing rehabilitation. Compared with meta-analysis data, patients in this sample had a much better than expected chance of returning to normal function (non-traumatic 91% v 1%; traumatic 89% v 7%; both P < 0.001).
Conclusions The portrayal of coma in soap operas is overly optimistic. Although these programmes are presented as fiction, they may contribute to unrealistic expectations of recovery.
PMCID: PMC1322260  PMID: 16373744
8.  Influenza, 1918 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1536.
The worst recorded influenza outbreak took place in 1918, when my uncle, Dr Jules S Martin, was a young doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Mozambique. This letter from his commanding officer gives an insight into the horror of the experience
PMCID: PMC1322259  PMID: 16373743
9.  Painting the history of cardiology 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1533-1535.
The panels that the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera created for the Mexican National Institute of Cardiology in the 1940s evince a populist concern and celebrate medical technology
PMCID: PMC1322258  PMID: 16373742
10.  Beatty's box 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1531-1532.
William Beatty, the surgeon aboard the Victory who tended Nelson in his final moments, had an unusual set of surgical instruments, put together to his own specification
PMCID: PMC1322257  PMID: 16373741
11.  Medical faculty members at different professorial levels 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1530.
How can we recognise certain distinguishing features of professors at different levels?
PMCID: PMC1322256  PMID: 16410240
13.  Patients bearing gifts: are there strings attached? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1527-1529.
The giving of gifts is an ancient and widespread human activity. But when the gift is given by a patient to their doctor then there may be ethical and clinical questions to consider
PMCID: PMC1322254  PMID: 16373740
14.  Judging a book by its cover: descriptive survey of patients' preferences for doctors' appearance and mode of address 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1524-1527.
Objective To document patients' preferred dress styles of their doctors and modes of address.
Design Descriptive survey.
Setting Inpatients and outpatients at a tertiary level hospital, New Zealand.
Participants 202 inpatients and 249 outpatients, mean age 55.9 (SD 19.3) years.
Main outcome measures Ranking of patients' opinions of photographs showing doctors wearing different dress styles. A five point Likert scale was used to measure patient comfort with particular items of appearance.
Results Patients preferred doctors to wear semiformal attire, but the addition of a smiling face was even better. The next most preferred styles were semiformal without a smile, followed by white coat, formal suit, jeans, and casual dress. Patients were more comfortable with conservative items of clothing, such as long sleeves, covered shoes, and dress trousers or skirts than with less conservative items such as facial piercing, short tops, and earrings on men. Many less conservative items such as jeans were still acceptable to most patients. Most patients preferred to be called by their first name, to be introduced to a doctor by full name and title, and to see the doctor's name badge worn at the breast pocket. Older patients had more conservative preferences.
Conclusions Patients prefer doctors to wear semiformal dress and are most comfortable with conservative items; many less conservative items were, however, acceptable. A smile made a big difference.
PMCID: PMC1322253  PMID: 16373739
15.  The wealth of distinguished doctors: retrospective survey 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1520-1523.
Objective To assess changes in the wealth of distinguished doctors in the United Kingdom between 1860 and 2001.
Design Retrospective survey.
Setting The UK.
Participants 980 doctors of sufficient distinction to be included in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and who died between 1860 and 2001.
Main outcome measures Wealth at death, based on probate records and adjusted relative to average earnings in 2002.
Results The wealth of distinguished doctors declined substantially between 1860 and 2001, and paralleled a decline in the relative income of doctors in general. The wealth of distinguished doctors also declined relative to other groups of distinguished individuals.
Conclusions In the 19th century, distinction in doctors was accompanied by substantial wealth, whereas by the end of the 20th century, the most distinguished doctors were less wealthy than their contemporaries who had achieved national distinction in other areas.
PMCID: PMC1322252  PMID: 16373738
16.  Depictions of substance use in reality television: a content analysis of The Osbournes 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1517-1519.
Objective To determine the source and slant of messages in a reality television programme that may promote or inhibit health related or risky behaviours.
Design Coding visual and verbal references to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use in The Osbournes.
Review methods Three reviewers watched all 10 episodes of the first season and coded incidents of substance use according to the substance used (alcohol, tobacco, or drugs), the way use was portrayed (visually or verbally), the source of the message (the character in the show involved in the incident), and the slant of the incident (endorsement or rejection).
Main outcome measures The variation in number of messages in an average episode, the slant of messages, and message source.
Results The average number of messages per episode was 9.1 (range 2-17). Most drug use messages (15, 54%) implied rejection of drugs, but most alcohol messages (30, 64%) and tobacco messages (12, 75%) implied endorsements for using these substances. Most rejections (34, 94%) were conveyed verbally, but most endorsements (36, 65%) were conveyed visually. Messages varied in frequency and slant by source.
Conclusions The reality television show analysed in this study contains numerous messages on substance use that imply both rejection and endorsement of use. The juxtaposition of verbal rejection messages and visual endorsement messages, and the depiction of contradictory messages about substance use from show characters, may send mixed messages to viewers about substance use.
PMCID: PMC1322251  PMID: 16373737
17.  Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomised controlled trials 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1515-1518.
Objective To assess the clinical evidence on the effectiveness of any medical intervention for preventing or treating alcohol hangover.
Data sources Systematic searches on Medline, Embase, Amed, Cochrane Central, the National Research Register (UK), and ClincalTrials.gov (USA); hand searches of conference proceedings and bibliographies; contact with experts and manufacturers of commercial preparations. Language of publication was not restricted.
Study selection and data extraction All randomised controlled trials of any medical intervention for preventing or treating alcohol hangover were included. Trials were considered if they were placebo controlled or controlled against a comparator intervention. Titles and abstracts of identified articles were read and hard copies were obtained. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were done independently by two reviewers. The Jadad score was used to evaluate methodological quality.
Results Fifteen potentially relevant trials were identified. Seven publications failed to meet all inclusion criteria. Eight randomised controlled trials assessing eight different interventions were reviewed. The agents tested were propranolol, tropisetron, tolfenamic acid, fructose or glucose, and the dietary supplements Borago officinalis (borage), Cynara scolymus (artichoke), Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear), and a yeast based preparation. All studies were double blind. Significant intergroup differences for overall symptom scores and individual symptoms were reported only for tolfenamic acid, γ linolenic acid from B officinalis, and a yeast based preparation.
Conclusion No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation.
PMCID: PMC1322250  PMID: 16373736
18.  Just say “No” 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1514.
PMCID: PMC1322249
19.  Shape of glass and amount of alcohol poured: comparative study of effect of practice and concentration 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1512-1514.
Objective To determine whether people pour different amounts into short, wide glasses than into tall, slender ones.
Design College students practised pouring alcohol into a standard glass before pouring into larger glasses; bartenders poured alcohol for four mixed drinks either with no instructions or after being told to take their time.
Setting University town and large city, United States.
Participants 198 college students and 86 bartenders.
Main outcome measures Volume of alcohol poured into short, wide and tall, slender glasses.
Results Aiming to pour a “shot” of alcohol (1.5 ounces, 44.3 ml), both students and bartenders poured more into short, wide glasses than into tall slender glasses (46.1 ml v 44.7 ml and 54.6 ml v 46.4 ml, respectively). Practice reduced the tendency to overpour, but not for short, wide glasses. Despite an average of six years of experience, bartenders poured 20.5% more into short, wide glasses than tall, slender ones; paying careful attention reduced but did not eliminate the effect.
Conclusions To avoid overpouring, use tall, narrow glasses or ones on which the alcohol level is premarked. To avoid underestimating the amount of alcohol consumed, studies using self reports of standard drinks should ask about the shape of the glass.
PMCID: PMC1322248  PMID: 16373735
20.  Seen from the other side: visual experiences during cataract surgery under topical anaesthesia 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1511.
Patients who have cataract surgery under topical local anaesthetic can have colourful visual experiences. Here two such patients share their paintings inspired by what they saw
PMCID: PMC1322247  PMID: 16373734
21.  Sex symbols ancient and modern: their origins and iconography on the pedigree 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1509-1510.
Sex symbols on pedigrees were illustrated quite differently 150 years ago. What brought about the change?
PMCID: PMC1322246  PMID: 16373733
22.  Revisiting the lot of the first incestuous family: the biblical origins of shifting the blame on to female family members 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1507-1508.
Who seduced whom in the biblical incest story of Lot and his daughters? The answer reveals an ancient cover-up ploy that is in use to this day
PMCID: PMC1322245  PMID: 16373732
24.  The emergence of ringing vertigo 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1502-1503.
Reports from bell ringers show how increased awareness can lead to the creation of a new condition
PMCID: PMC1322242  PMID: 16373729
25.  Stains on the carpet 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7531):1501.
Some people have red urine and faeces after eating beetroot, but how much do we know about beetroot's ability to intensify the colour of blood, thereby making blood stains impossible to remove?
PMCID: PMC1322241  PMID: 16373728

Results 1-25 (4079)