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Research Activities

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May 2005, No. 297


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Latest data show that use of antibiotics to treat ear infections is declining

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Long-term outcomes data do not support aggressive treatment of localized low-grade prostate cancer
A delay of 2 or more days in surgical repair of hip fracture substantially increases mortality rates
Prolonging clopidogrel therapy from 1 month to 1 year after coronary angioplasty with stent placement is cost effective
Researchers examine effects of quality improvement on depression care for adolescents and adults
Low literacy is associated with several adverse health outcomes

Clinical Decisionmaking

Missing clinical information during primary care visits is commonplace and can adversely affect patient care
Use of maximal sterile barriers when placing central venous catheters may reduce the risk of catheter-related infections
Use of a clinical decision rule can improve the accuracy and efficiency of orthopedists in diagnosing deep vein thrombosis

Health Information Technology

Patients like access to their electronic medical record and E-mailing their doctor, but doctors still prefer the telephone
Use of an interactive computer program can help patients and staff improve diabetes care in primary care practices
Practice-based research networks can use E-mail to speed diagnosis of anthrax and other rare infectious diseases
Use of computerized simulation models can help communities plan an effective response to bioterrorism

Women's Health

Researchers assess breast cancer risk and the effects of tamoxifen prophylaxis among women in primary care practices
Use of hormone replacement therapy plummeted after publication of findings from the Women's Health Initiative trial
Acupuncture appears promising for the treatment of depression during pregnancy

Minority Health

Blacks and Latinos with hypertension have trouble adhering to recommended diets
Medicaid policies and other local factors may affect disparities in use of diabetes-related health care services
Death rates for cardiovascular disease are higher among American Indians and Alaska Natives than other U.S. groups
Home routines in minority families may impede the healthy development and future school success of their children

Elderly Health/Long-term Care

Rates of coronary angiography are inappropriately low in older cardiac patients who have chronic kidney disease
Even seemingly mild complications after surgery may radically alter an elderly person's risk of dying
Use of potentially inappropriate medications in patients aged 65 and older continues to be widespread
Study cites several barriers to adoption of guideline-recommended osteoporosis care for frail nursing home residents
Informal care of elderly parents by adult children limits use of nursing home and other formal care and shortens hospital stays

Children's Health

Use of an asthma kiosk in the emergency department can educate parents and improve clinician/patient communication
Children with special health care needs generally use more health services and have higher costs than other children
Children of working poor parents continue to be at a disadvantage for health care access and use
Homeless youths have numerous health and access to care problems that vary between street and shelter-based youths

HIV/AIDS Research

Many HIV-infected parents worry needlessly about transmitting HIV to their children
Researchers examine effects of antiretroviral therapy on increases in serum liver enzymes in HIV-infected patients

Quality/Patient Safety

High-risk patients often undergo bypass surgery at low-volume hospitals where their risk of dying is higher
Recently hospitalized individuals are more likely to have bloodstream infections that are drug-resistant
HMO penetration in a hospital's market affects the relationship between RN staffing and quality of care
Survey reveals that hospital leaders are concerned about the impact of mandatory error-reporting systems

Agency News and Notes

AHRQ-sponsored "Summit" brings together health care leaders to consider next steps in improving health care quality
Despite promising efforts over the past 5 years to improve patient safety, the American public does not feel safer


AHRQ and DOD release compendium of patient safety studies showing accomplishments and challenges that lie ahead
AHRQ announces a major step in improving quality of care
New expert panel report examines standards of care during mass casualty events
New HHS guide helps nurses encourage patients to quit smoking
AHRQ releases evidence reports on depression during pregnancy, routine use of episiotomy, and other topics
AHRQ supports health services research training, including career development grants
Grant final reports now available from NTIS
Research Briefs

Current as of May 2005
AHRQ Publication No. 05-0082

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