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May 28, 2004, Issue No. 136
AHRQ News and Numbers
A higher proportion of whites (46.7 percent) than blacks (26.8 percent) or
Hispanics (25.7 percent) had at least one dental visit in 2000. Among people who
received dental care during 2000, whites had more visits per user (2.6) than
either Hispanics (2.1) or blacks (2.1). This relationship was observed in each
year from 1996 through 2000. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality, MEPS Research Findings #20: Dental Services: Use, Expenses, and Sources of Payment, 1996-2000.]
- Task Force recommends vision screening for children younger
than 5 years old
- AHRQ develops publication to help states better define their
- New Surgeon General's report updates evidence on health
effects of smoking
- Researchers examine the management of chronic illness in
managed care settings
- Translating Research Into Practice Conference set for July
12-14 in Washington, DC
- New Microsoft® Word downloads at the National Guideline
- Calling all AHRQ researchers! "Help us to help you."
- AHRQ in the professional literature
1. Task Force Recommends Vision Screening for Children Younger
than 5 Years Old
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that children who are
younger than 5 years old be screened in the primary care setting for vision
problems, including lazy eye, crossed eyes, and near- and far-sightedness.
Children found to have one of these conditions should be referred to a
specialized eye care professional for further testing. The finding was published
in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine. Select to read
release and the recommendation.
2. AHRQ Develops Publication To Help States Better Define Their
AHRQ has announced a new publication to help State policymakers with
decisions related to the health care safety net. The new publication,
Developing Data-Driven Capabilities to Support Policymaking, can help
States better define and identify concerns and issues about their safety nets,
determine the appropriate data for supporting policy decisions, assess what the
data say, and initiate a plan of action for developing policy options that are
supported by the data.
3. New Surgeon General's Report Updates Evidence on Health Effects
U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona released a new report, The Health
Consequences of Smoking, on May 27. This report updates the evidence and
conclusions on the health effects of active smoking and health last issued by
the Surgeon General in 1989. The report also highlights potential next steps
that can be used to prevent and control tobacco use and reduce the harmful
health effects of smoking. The climate for treating tobacco dependence has
improved over the last decade, in part due to the development of key tools such
as the 2000 Public Health Service's (PHS) Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating
Tobacco Use and Dependence, which includes evidence-based treatment
recommendations to help smokers quit. Select to access the Surgeon General's report. Select to access the PHS guideline.
4. Researchers Examine the Management of Chronic Illness in
Managed Care Settings
An introduction and six articles from AHRQ-funded projects under our managed
care initiative are included in a special section, "Managing Chronic Illness in
Managed Care," in the December 2003 issue of Health Services Research.
The projects examine the impact of various features of managed care on the
management of chronic disease. For example, researchers studied the impact on
chronic disease management of specific payment arrangements for individual
physicians; the breadth of the provider networks offered by plans; and
managerial approaches used by the plans or medical groups to select clinicians,
monitor or profile practice patterns, and encourage adherence to practice
guidelines. Select to access the PubMed® abstracts of the articles.
5. Translating Research Into Practice Conference Scheduled July
12-14 in Washington, DC
Mark your calendars for TRIP 2004, "Translating Research Into Practice:
Advancing Excellence from Discovery to Delivery." This expanded July 12-14
conference at the new Washington DC Convention Center, will examine the
state-of-the-art and next horizons in implementing research in clinical practice
and health policy. AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D., and National Health
Information Technology Coordinator David Brailer, M.D., Ph.D., are among the
keynote speakers, and sessions will focus on knowledge transfer related to
ephedra, colorectal and prostate cancer screening, and tobacco cessation
interventions for underserved populations. Health care provider organizations,
clinicians, patients, purchasers, researchers, innovators, knowledge transfer
experts, and others from across the public and private sectors will share
research, insights, collaborations, and initiatives for moving knowledge of
efficacy and effectiveness into sustained practice change.
6. New Microsoft® Word Downloads at the National Guideline
A new Microsoft® Word Download feature is now available on the National
Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC) Web site, an online public resource for
evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Select to access this new view of
Summary for each guideline represented in the NGC database can be downloaded and viewed on all computers
that use Microsoft® Word. It may also be downloaded to Personal Digital
Assistants (PDAs) that can read Microsoft® Word documents.
For a complete list of the different ways to view NGC content, select the NGC Guideline
7. Calling All AHRQ Researchers! "Help Us To Help You."
As you may know, AHRQ can help you promote the findings of your research, but
we can't do it without you. AHRQ has been successful in working with our
grantees and contractors to promote findings to the media and to transfer
knowledge based on the research to appropriate audiences in the health care
community. However, we know that we can do more. We need you to notify us when
you have an article accepted for publication. Please send a copy of the
manuscript, anticipated publication date, and contact information for the
journal and your institution's PR office to your AHRQ project officer and to
AHRQ Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your
manuscript will be reviewed to determine what level of marketing we will pursue.
Please be assured that AHRQ always honors the journal embargo. Thank you for
8. AHRQ in the Professional Literature
We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through
PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to
access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your
individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your
technical support staff for possible remedies.
Johnson KB, Davison CL. Information technology: its importance to child
safety. Ambul Pediatr 2004 Jan-Feb;4(1):64-72. Select to access the abstract
Chen AY, Escarce JJ. Qualifying income-related inequality in healthcare
delivery in the United States. Med Care 2004 Jan;42(1):38-47. Select to
access the abstract
Small SD. Medical device-associated safety and risk: surveillance and
stratagems. JAMA 2004 Jan 21;291(3):367-70. Select to access the abstract
Adams JR, Elting LS, Lyman GH, et al. Use of erythropoietin in cancer
patients: assessment of oncologists' practice patterns in the United States and
other countries. Am J Med 2004 Jan 1;116(1):28-34. Select to access the
Borders TF, Rohrer JE, Xu KT, et al. Older persons' evaluations of health
care: the effects of medical skepticism and worry about health. Health Serv
Res 2004 Feb;39(1):35-52. Select to access the abstract
Nelson EC, Splaine ME, Plume SK, et al. Good measurement for good improvement
work. Qual Manag Health Care 2004 Jan-Mar;13(1):1-16. Select to access
Lee SY, Arozullah AM, Cho YI. Health literacy, social support, and health: a
research guide. Soc Sci Med 2004 Apr;58(7):1309-21. Select to access the abstract
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