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Health Check

Podcast Health Check
Podcast Health Check

Health Check


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  • “Virtual” hospital visits cut relatives’ distress
    In the pandemic when intensive care units were full and visitors were not allowed some families kept in touch using phones and tablets. A new study in the UK shows that this “virtual” visiting did help to reduce the distress felt by relatives – and the practice still continues to keep families in touch when they live far apart. Training relatives to give medicines at home to ease their loved ones’ symptoms at the end of life was pioneered in Australia. This week a specially-adapted version of the [email protected] programme is being launched to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island families. The practice is catching on in the UK - we hear from Mark who helped ease his mother’s pain and nausea at the end of her life. Dr Graham Easton from Barts and the London has news of a study from India showing how small differences in the beating heart could help to predict the risk of diabetes developing. He also warns that doctors need to stop fat shaming people to help them lose weight – and how blood pressure should be taken in both arms. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Paula McGrath (Picture: A patient in an intensive care unit on a ventilator. Photo credit: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty Images.)
  • Can you be a kind boss?
    In the cut throat world of work, can bosses be kind? Claudia Hammond unpicks the psychological evidence from around the world to find out if it’s possible for managers to be both kind all the time and successful. The quest starts with Thom Elliot Co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims in the UK, who deliberately set out to foster a kind culture in a sector not exactly known for its benevolence. They're joined for pizza by Prof Robin Banerjee, architect of the Kindness Test to discuss the findings and examine whether kindness in business really does result in success. Joe Folkman is the perfect person to ask. He runs an evidence based leadership development firm in the US. It turns out there's a strong correlation between being likeable and effectiveness. Such concepts are backed up by a relatively new field of research called 'ethical leadership' pioneered by Professor Mike Brown. Claudia meets former head teacher Ros McMullen who tells some home truths about leadership in a culture of relentless pressure and accountability. Plus Lisa Smosarski, editor in Chief of Stylist magazine shares shocking office stories of the 'Devil Wears Prada' era and discusses wider societal shifts that may be contributing to a kinder culture in her industry. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Erika Wright
  • Pure kindness
    What can the latest research tell us about whether there is any such thing as pure kindness? Claudia Hammond meets a man who has done an exceptionally altruistic act for someone who was seriously ill. What prompts acts of kindness like this? Specialists from the fields of psychology and neuroscience unpick the evidence. Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald
  • Marburg virus cases confirmed
    As Marburg virus cases are confirmed in Ghana, Dr Graham Easton discusses the importance of a swift response. BBC Africa correspondent Charles Mgbolu reports from Nigeria on the relationship between monkeypox emergence and smallpox eradication. Plus Claudia hears good news from Dr Jaekeun Park at the University of Maryland about progress on making a universal flu vaccine. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Erika Wright (Picture: Marburg virus, cut-away illustration. Photo credit: Roger Harris/Science Photo Library/Getty Images.)
  • New Covid booster recommendations
    As Covid cases rise new recommendations from European health agencies back over 60s to get boosted. Professor Monica Lakhanpaul from University College London explains that this is before the rollout of updated vaccines to target specific variants. Monica also discusses her own research with village communities in India working to benefit infant nutrition. Also, with the numbers of teenagers experiencing mental health difficulties rising in many parts of the world some schools have turned to mindfulness classes. But how effective are they? Co-author professor Willem Kuyken discusses the results of the long awaited eight year study. Plus is there such a thing as too much confidence? Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Erika Wright (Photo: Multiple vials of booster vaccine on a conveyor belt in a pharmaceutical factory. Credit: SDI Productions/Getty Images)

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