Medicine: Research

Department of Health written question – answered on 13th June 2016.

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Photo of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 12 October 2015 (HL1940), what assessment they have made of the reasons why systematic scientific reviews, such as Cochrane reviews, adopt "specific and relatively narrow criteria".

Photo of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 12 October 2015 (HL1940), what plans they have to commission or financially to support further studies that might meet the "specific and relatively narrow criteria" of the 2015 Cochrane review Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries, in the light of the point made in that review’s abstract that "the applicability of the results to current lifestyles is unclear because the majority of the studies were conducted before fluoride toothpastes and the other preventative measures were widely used".

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

The 2015 Cochrane review Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries was an update of a Cochrane review first completed in 2000. A panel of experts agreed the search criteria in the original review, and the update kept these largely unchanged.

The National Institute for Health Research is currently funding an evaluation of a water fluoridation scheme in Cumbria. This started in 2013 and the final report is expected to be published in 2021. Findings from the evaluation will be available for consideration in any subsequent systematic reviews relating to water fluoridation.

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