Evidence Aid newsletter: 21 September 2021

Here is the 21 September update from Evidence Aid. It contains information on our evidence collections and projects. If you would like to receive these updates directly, please contact me (callen@evidenceaid.org). Anyone with questions about our work should also contact me.

Highlights from August 2021

We launched a new collection, Resilient Health Systems, which we are working on with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and continue to work on several of our other evidence collections with some of the recent additions including

Interventions for palliative symptom control in COVID-19 patients in our COVID-19 collection.

Some patients dying of COVID-19 experience distressing symptoms such as breathlessness or delirium and, although a variety of interventions have been suggested to ease these symptoms, there has been very little research into their effects. This Cochrane review found only very low certainty evidence for the efficacy of pharmacological interventions and no evidence on the safety of pharmacological interventions or the efficacy and safety of non‐pharmacological interventions.

Disaster preparedness of hospitals in the Middle East in the Earthquake collection.

More than half the 19 articles in this review contain recommendations to improve the level of disaster preparedness in hospitals in the Middle East. These include that healthcare workers involved in the management of disasters should be provided with ongoing training, education and drilling exercises; and that hospital incident command systems should be put in place to help staff respond rapidly to disasters.

Mental health services during infectious disease outbreaks in the Resilient Health Systems collection.

The authors concluded that tele-mental health strategies can help mental health systems to cope with infectious disease outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve mental health response capacity for future outbreaks. However, they noted that disparities in access to technology by poorer populations and cultural and linguistically diverse communities in low- and middle-income countries may impact on the implementation of these programs.

Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and heatwaves in the Humanitarian Impact of Climate Change collection.

This systematic review of 54 studies from 20 countries shows how heatwaves are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory mortality, particularly in the elderly and people with existing cardiovascular and respiratory diseases; but that the effects on morbidity are less clear.

What else this month?

  • Our COVID-19 collection now includes 555 short, plain language summaries covering 871 systematic reviews. All the summaries are available in English, with many also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Our new Resilient Health Systems collection contains 4 summaries, which will also be available in French, Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Summaries in our Earthquake collection are now being translated into Japanese.
  • We have agreed to host three webinars with the World Health Organization Kobe Centre, based on the WHO Guidance on Research Methods for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management and will be making more information available via our social media feeds (see below).
  • Along with more than 200 medical journals, we published an editorial calling for action to avert the health effects of climate change. It’s available here.

. We are preparing to launch a fortnightly bulletin containing highlights from our summaries.

Social media

We promote our summaries and the work of Evidence Aid generally through Twitter (@Evidence Aid), Facebook (Evidence Aid – page and group) and Instagram (evidenceaid). Please follow us and share the posts.


We are very grateful to the many volunteers who help Evidence Aid. They contribute to searching, screening and downloading reviews preparing and writing summaries, providing web support and advising on translations.

The Evidence Aid team

Information about the Evidence Aid staff and interns is available on our website.