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Grant final reports now available from NTIS

The following grant final reports are now available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Each listing identifies the project's principal investigator, his or her affiliation, grant number, and project period and provides a brief description of the project.

Records of all 750,000 documents archived at NTIS—including many AHRQ documents and final reports from all completed AHRQ-supported grants—can now be searched on the new NTIS Web site. For information about findings from the projects described here, please access the relevant final reports at the NTIS Web site. Also, all items in the database from 1997 to the present can be downloaded from the NTIS Web site. Go to www.ntis.gov for more information.

Editor's Note: In addition to these final reports, you can access information about these projects from several other sources. Most of these researchers have published interim findings in the professional literature, and many have been summarized in Research Activities during the course of the project.

To find information presented in back issues of Research Activities, select "Search Research Activities." To search for information, enter either the grant or contract number or the principal investigator's last name in the query line. A reference librarian can help you find related journal articles through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed®.

Computer System to Support Alzheimer's Decisionmaking. David H. Gustafson, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison. AHRQ grant HS09567, project period 9/30/97-9/29/98.

The goal of this project was to develop and test a new Internet-based decision aid for an existing computer module, the Dementia Caregiver Module, to help caregivers successfully implement decisions regarding care for Alzheimer's patients. The researchers identified caregiver needs and designed a decision aid component designed to enhance implementation. Caregivers (n=100) were recruited to test the system, and their reactions and satisfaction were tracked. About two-thirds of participants used the system. Users averaged 5 fewer hours per week in caregiving than nonusers, and 60 percent reported increased coping and caregiving knowledge. Abstract, executive summary, and appendixes (NTIS accession no. PB2005-100589; 82 pp, $34.00 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Consumer-led Conference to Advance Patient Safety. Jonathan C. Peck, M.S., Institute for Alternative Futures, Alexandria, VA. AHRQ grant HS13927, project period 3/1/03-2/29/04.

This project provided support for a workshop on advancing patient safety through consumer involvement. The workshop participants developed a vision, mission, goals, and action steps toward improving health care through Federal, State, and local initiatives. As a result of the workshop, a new organization was created: Consumers Advancing Patient Safety. Abstract, executive summary, and appendixes (NTIS accession no. PB2005-100587; 50 pp, $29.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Evaluation of Ischemic Heart Disease in Monroe County. Alvin I. Mushlin, M.D., University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. AHRQ grant HS09358, project period 9/30/96-9/29/98.

This project examined the patterns and outcomes of health service use for coronary artery disease (CAD) in Monroe County, NY, an upstate metropolitan community with about 730,000 residents. In addition, the researchers quantified the burden of CAD in the area and identified corresponding community needs. They conducted a multi-level analysis of CAD mortality and procedure rates (bypass surgery and angiography) in the community. The study found substantial racial and socioeconomic variations in access to care and outcomes related to CAD in this geographic area. In general, blacks and those of lower SES received fewer cardiac procedures. Further, these groups had higher premature incidence and mortality rates related to CAD. Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-100588; 60 pp, $31.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Health Services Training for the 21st Century. Jeffrey Prottas, Ph.D., Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. AHRQ grant HS09798, project period 7/1/98-6/30/00.

This project provided support for development of 11 different short-format courses at the Heller Graduate School that will extend and enrich the school's doctoral program. Over the 2-year project, 152 students enrolled in the courses, and a survey of the students provided very positive feedback. The Heller School has decided to institutionalize and lengthen the program. Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-101293; 12 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Impact of Organizational and Operational Structure on Living Donation. Rebecca P. Winsett, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Memphis. AHRQ grant HS11472, project period 6/1/01-5/31/03).

These researchers evaluated transplant center and individual barriers and facilitators of living organ donation by interviewing living donors and personnel in certain transplant centers. Centers were selected because they had greater than the national average in living donor transplants. The study found that well-integrated systems were more effective in increasing the number of living donors. For the donors, a positive experience with the health care system meant having their needs met and respectful treatment. The perception of a smooth, integrated system that is responsive to the needs of the organ donor appears to be the most important factor for donors. In general, living donors understood the importance of donation, but they were disappointed in how they were treated during the process. Organizational changes can resolve this barrier. Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-101295; 22 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Improving Heart Failure Care in Minority Communities. Jane E. Sisk, Ph.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. AHRQ grant HS10402, project period 9/30/99-9/29/03.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with high disability and mortality, and it disproportionately affects blacks and people older than age 65. Proven therapies can improve functioning and survival, but many patients do not receive them. To examine the effectiveness of nurse management of patients with CHF, these researchers enrolled 406 patients with documented CHF from ambulatory practices in four hospitals in east and central Harlem, NYC. The effectiveness of nurse management compared with usual care was assessed over a 12-month trial. Nurses followed a structural protocol to counsel patients on self-management of their condition and interaction with clinicians to improve drug therapy. The researchers are disseminating their findings to quality improvement organizations, within the local communities, and more broadly across the State and the Nation. Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-100586; 33 pp, $29.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Institutional Training Innovation Incentive Program. Roger D. Feldman, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. AHRQ grant HS09795, project period 9/1/98-8/31/02.

This project supported the establishment of a doctoral training program in managed care at the University of Minnesota. The purpose was to better prepare doctoral students to conduct health services research in and with managed care organizations. A number of lessons were learned over the course of this 4-year project, including the need for training programs to have a minimum size and to partner with stable organizations. The lessons learned from this experience have been incorporated into a new master of science degree program in health services research, policy, and administration. Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-101296; 26 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

Program in Clinical Effectiveness/Evaluation Sciences. Mark S. Roberts, M.D., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. AHRQ grant HS09784, project period 5/1/98-4/30/02.

This project provided support for the development of a broadly based, multidisciplinary health services research training program designed to provide trainees with the skills necessary to meet the rapidly changing demands of health care systems. This program provides health services research training for general medicine fellows and greatly expands the pool of physicians who are receiving such training. Ultimately, the program will increase the capacity for health services research at the University of Pittsburgh and in the surrounding region. Abstract, executive summary, and final report (NTIS accession no. PB2005-101294; 22 pp, $26.50 paper, $14.00 microfiche) are available from NTIS.

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