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Research Activities

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January 2005, No. 293


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Medical interns who work extended-duration shifts double their risk of car crashes when driving home from the hospital


Almost 90 percent of American adults wear seat belts regularly, but young men are least likely to wear them
Multifaceted QI program greatly improves use of prophylactic surfactant for high-risk preterm infants
Improving access to coronary angioplasty in hospitals without CABG surgery programs is risky
Use of multidisciplinary team can reduce hospital stays and costs without adverse effects on readmissions or outcomes
Use of comprehensive QI program in primary care can improve delivery of preventive services for heart disease and stroke
Study finds declining quality of primary care for elderly Medicare patients
Researchers find potentially inappropriate drug use in nursing homes associated with deaths of elderly residents
Voluntary primary care safety reporting system includes errors due to communication, diagnostic tests, and medication
Clinicians value medication safety alerts and welcome small-group training to make better use of them
Community pharmacists receive many computer-generated alerts about drug-drug interactions, most of which they override
Involving all staff members in guideline-recommended care can improve oversight and coordination of patient care
Internal medicine residents and interns prefer inpatient rotations that are supervised by hospitalists

Pharmaceutical Research

Marketing and prescribing of hormone replacement therapy declined substantially following reports of harm
Study suggests that use of lifesaving beta-blockers for heart attack patients is increasing at community hospitals

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Women who have given birth only via cesarean are less likely than those with vaginal deliveries to report stress incontinence
Disparities in heart disease among British civil servants are not due to cardiac care differences
Substantial barriers prevent cancer patients from obtaining optimal care at the end of life

Clinical Decisionmaking

Appropriately targeting thrombolytic therapy for heart attack patients has the potential to save both lives and money
Many kidney dialysis patients are not properly treated for high cholesterol
Early referral of patients with chronic kidney disease reduces complications and mortality
Many people still misunderstand "brain death" and its relation to organ donation

Children's Health

Controlling diet and physical activity can help obese and overweight children lose weight
First-week followup of newborns after hospital discharge is critical to prevent severe jaundice and other problems
Children with special needs often don't receive the health care services and assistive devices they need
Many chronic diseases and mental disorders that affect adults have their roots in childhood

Primary Care Research

Patients are more trusting of doctors who spend more time with them and discuss the impact of their illness
Centers specializing in primary care for women consistently deliver preventive services and have high patient satisfaction
Shortages of rural generalist physicians may be due to poor recruitment rather than retention problems
Primary care doctors demonstrated restraint in prescribing antibiotics following the 2001 anthrax attacks

Elderly/Long-term Care

Elderly people who lack prescription drug coverage may not get needed medications for chronic conditions
Nursing homes that employ physician extenders and provide training for nurses' aides have fewer hospitalizations
Medicaid may be an important key to linking older individuals in rural areas with formal home health care
Medicare managed care enrollees make significant use of home health benefits, but low education limits use of medical equipment

Health Care Costs and Financing

During the mid-1990s, Medicare HMOs in California reduced inpatient use beyond that attributable to favorable selection

Agency News and Notes

AHRQ's evidence-based health care programs focus on improving practice and policy


AHRQ publishes evidence reports on the safety and effectiveness of melatonin supplements and other topics

Research Briefs

AHRQ Publication No. 05-0045
Current as of January 2005

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