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AHRQ Awards 10 New Research Projects on Key Topics

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Press Release Date: October 11, 2000

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) today announced the award of approximately $12 million in total projected funding over the next five years to fund 10 new research projects on key topics. Topics include pediatric and women's health, cost-effectiveness analysis, ethics in intensive care units, and smoking cessation.

The newly funded projects are:

  • Improving the Evidence for Unstable Angina Guidelines. Principal investigator: David A. Katz, M.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. Total projected funding: $87,917. Funding period: 09/01/00-08/31/02.

    This study seeks to assess the impact of AHRQ's unstable angina guideline on the outcomes of emergency room patients with chest pain.

  • Risk-Adjustment of 1-Year Health Status Outcomes in Coronary Artery Disease. Principal investigator: John A. Spertus, M.D., M.P.H. Saint Luke's Foundation, Kansas City, MO. Total projected funding: $1,294,396. Funding period: 09/01/00-08/31/04.

    This observational study will follow over 3,000 patients with acute coronary syndromes to identify their long-term outcomes including physical and mental functioning, amount of angina and quality of life for 1-year after hospital admission. This information will enable improved assessment of quality of care and facilitate patient decisionmaking by improving the understanding of anticipated outcomes.

  • Impact of Early Discharge Following Bypass Surgery. Principal investigator: Patricia A. Cowper, Ph.D. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Total projected funding: $694,334. Funding period: 09/11/00-08/31/02.

    The overall objective of this study is to determine the impact of decreases in lengths of stay following coronary artery bypass graft surgery on clinical outcomes. In addition, researchers will identify patient and hospital factors that are associated with good outcomes following early discharge.

  • Measurement of Women's Satisfaction with Primary Care. Principal investigator: Carol S. Weisman, Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Total projected funding: $551,588. Funding period: 07/01/00-12/31/01.

    The goal of this project is to measure women's satisfaction with their primary health care. Researchers from three of the Department of Health and Human Services—designated National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health will develop a women-specific patient satisfaction instrument which can be used as a standalone tool or as a supplement to standard patient satisfaction instruments.

  • Statistical Inference for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. Principal investigator: Joseph Gardiner, Ph.D. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Total projected funding: $793,419. Funding period: 07/01/00-06/30/03.

    This goal of this study is to develop statistical techniques that fill methodological gaps in current cost-effectiveness analysis models. The specific aims of the project are to develop new statistical approaches for estimates of cost effectiveness parameters, conduct computer simulated studies to assess the performance of the proposed methods, and apply the proposed methods to real data sets.

  • Care Management by Nurse Practitioner/Hospitalist Team. Principal investigator: Marie J. Cowan, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, CA. Total projected funding: $2,229,554. Funding period: 07/01/00-06/30/03.

    This project will test an intensive intervention using hospitalists collaborating with nurse practitioners who also engage in post-discharge follow-up, with patients in a general medical unit of an academic medical center. This project is co-funded by AHRQ and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

  • Impact of Ethics Consultation in the Intensive Care Unit. Principal investigator: Lawrence J. Schneiderman, M.D. University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA. Total projected funding: $1,775,383. Funding period: 09/01/00-08/31/03.

    This scientific study is about effects of ethics consultations in intensive care unit settings. Research efforts propose a multi-center randomized control trial that will examine the impact of ethics consultation for patients identified as having "value-based treatment conflicts" patients in a general medical unit of an academic medical center. This project is co-funded by AHRQ and the National Institute of Nursing Research.

  • Smoking Control in Maternal and Child Health Clinics: Dissemination Strategies. Principal investigator: Clara Manfredi, Ph.D. University of Illinois, Chicago, IL. Total projected funding: $1,841,176. Funding period: 09/01/00-08/31/03.

    This study will evaluate two strategies to disseminate the It's Time smoking cessation program and the AHRQ smoking cessation guidelines to maternal and child health public health clinics. Two Illinois Public Health and Human Services agencies will serve as influential intermediaries for the program dissemination.

  • Pediatric Evidence-based Medicine—Getting Evidence Used at the Point of Care. Principal investigator: Robert L. Davis, M.D., M.P.H. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Total projected funding: $1,007,940. Funding period: 09/01/00-08/31/03.

    This project will evaluate the provision of evidence at the point of pediatric care, in order to increase the application of evidence-based medicine, change physician behavior, and expedite the translation of research into clinical practice. The study questions will be: 1) Will use of an evidence-based decision support system at the point of care improve antibiotic use in specific outpatient pediatric diseases (such as otitis media, acute sinusitis, bronchiolitis, and allergic rhinitis)? and 2) Will individualized physician feedback provide additional benefit, when used in conjunction with the support system? The study will include a series of randomized controlled trials, implemented at three sites, including academic pediatric and family medicine health care centers and a rural pediatric clinic.

  • Home Screening for Chlamydia Surveillance. Principal investigator: Roberta B. Ness, M.D. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Total projected funding: $1,696,066. Funding period: 07/25/00-06/30/05.

    The purpose of this randomized clinical trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of home screening for two STDs—chlamydia and gonorrhea—relative to office-based screening among women with a prior diagnosis of chlamydia.

AHRQ is the lead agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, improve patient safety, address medical errors, and broaden access to essential services. AHRQ sponsors and conducts research that provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use, and access. The information helps health care decisionmakers—patients and clinicians, health system leaders, and policymakers—make more informed decisions and improve the quality of health care services. Visit AHRQ's newly redesigned Web site at to find out more about AHRQ, its research findings and publications.

For additional information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 427-1364: Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864.

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