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Review: longer bed rest does not prevent more postpuncture headaches than immediate mobilisation or short bed rest

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QUESTION: In patients having cervical or lumbar puncture, is longer bed rest more effective than immediate mobilisation or short bed rest in preventing headache?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to May 2001), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1988 to March 2001), Pascal Biomed (1996 to February 2001), Current Contents (1997 to September 1999), PsycINFO (1966 to May 2001), the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register (last search May 15, 2001) and bibliographies of relevant textbooks and retrieved studies.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), enrolled patients having cervical or lumbar puncture for any reason, compared longer bed rest with immediate mobilisation or short bed rest, and reported occurrence of headache in absolute numbers.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on patient …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr M Müllner, University Klinik für Notfallmedizin, Vienna, Austria. marcus.muellner{at} A modified version of this abstract appears in ACP Journal Club.