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Readers' Requests Edition

Bandolier receives many fascinating requests asking it to find the evidence on such-and-such a topic. Many, most even, are difficult, or even border on the impossible. But increasingly even for the seemingly impossible it is becoming easier to find at least some level of evidence to support a course of action. It may not be the answer to the world, the universe, and everything, but it's usually better than what we had before.

homocysteine and dementia, for instance. We had never heard of any connection, nor had anyone we knew, but a few hours of searching found some really interesing literature supporting a connection. Or restless legs - hardly anything hove into view until three rather good randomised trials showed pergolide to have substantial effects. Some are more dificult, and all we can do is point to where the best available evidence can be found.

Gastroenteritis in children

The assessment and clinical management of children and adults with gastroenteritis, and the evidence on which it is based, is one of the questions asked of Bandolier . There is a thoroughly researched article dealing with managing acute gastroenteritis in children [1], but the details are too complex for summary in Bandolier .

This article has a highly developed searching strategy, and is likely to have found most of the relevant articles published up to 1997. It has 70 references for those who want to dig deeper or read more widely. For those who want the document to read for now, this is it. Your local library should be able to get it for you within a few days.


  1. MS Murphy. Guidelines for managing acute gastroenteritis based on a systematic review of published papers. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1998 79: 279-84.

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