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Question Time: Readers' Questions

Bandolier is often asked to find or summarise evidence on particular topics. Often we can help, but just as often we cannot. This is usually because we don't have time or resources to dig deeply into subjects where good trials or systematic reviews are not easily found by electronic or other searching.

So as an experiment, this month we run a 'Question Time' Table with some of the unanswered questions of the last few months. Bandolier asks its readers if they know of any good evidence which may be helpful in any of these topics. If you do, and can supply a reference (or even better a photocopy), then please write to us. We will pass on the information, and perhaps carry some of the evidence in these pages. If it works, then we'll see whether we can run similar exercises in future.
Question From
What is the incidence of infection in insect bites in England? How many insect bites form abscesses? Any comparisons between anti-histamines and antibiotics? Dina Dhorajiwala Crouch End
Does meloxicam have any real advantage in patients with risk factors for NSAID-induced ulcers? David Alston Brixworth
What is the evidence for use and safety of thioridazine for demented patients in nursing homes? Avril Danczak Manchester
Is there any evidence that massage or manipulation improves recovery times in back injury? Paul Muir Chesterfield
Do hydrocolloid dressings reduce healing time following surgery? Paul Muir Chesterfield
What is the evidence for long-term benefit of vault smears in women treated for carcinoma of the cervix? Les Ashton Leicester
Is laser therapy effective in treating wounds and leg ulcers? Christine Brown Windsor
What is the evidence for performing routine vaginal examination in women on HRT? Helen Clayson Kirkby-in-Furness
Where is the evidence for sterilising bottles and teats for babies up to three months or more? Anne Edwards Oxford
What is the evidence of effectiveness on prescriptions for exercise? And what exercise? Peter Fentem Nottingham
Prescribing sleeping tablets in hospital is common, especially for the elderly. Is there evidence on whether they should be withdrawn gradually? RS Gulati Blackpoool
What is the evidence that women on the oral contraceptive pill should be seen every six months? Matt Hoghton Bristol
Do nurse-run clinics in general practice improve outcomes? Matt Hoghton Bristol
Is intralesional triamcinalone effective for treating acne scars and keloids? AJ Munro Cranford
Where is the evidence that glucosamine is an effective treatment for arthritis? GS Proctor Gainsborough
For how long and by how much are risks increased for asthmatics with no history of chicken pox infection who come into contact with an infected person Stephen Stamp Princes Risborough

Now Bandolier does this in the full expectation of being embarrassed by those of you who know the answer, and are surprised that we (and others) do not. So be gentle with us - and remember it is all part of the campaign against squirreling knowledge.

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