Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Electronic Newsletter

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

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.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. Task Force recommends vision screening for children younger than 5 years old
  2. AHRQ develops publication to help states better define their safety nets
  3. New Surgeon General's report updates evidence on health effects of smoking
  4. Researchers examine the management of chronic illness in managed care settings
  5. Translating Research Into Practice Conference set for July 12-14 in Washington, DC
  6. New Microsoft® Word downloads at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  7. Calling all AHRQ researchers! "Help us to help you."
  8. 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 the press release and the recommendation.

2.  AHRQ Develops Publication To Help States Better Define Their Safety Nets

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 of Smoking

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 Clearinghouse™

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 NGC content.

The Complete 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 Views.

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 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 your cooperation.

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 on PubMed®

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 on PubMed®

Small SD. Medical device-associated safety and risk: surveillance and stratagems. JAMA 2004 Jan 21;291(3):367-70. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®

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 abstract on PubMed®

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 on PubMed®

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 the abstract on PubMed®

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 on PubMed®

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or E-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your Subscriber Preferences Page. You will need to use your E-mail address to log in.

If you have any questions or problems with the subscription service, E-mail: For other inquiries, Contact Us.

This service is provided to you at no charge by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ).


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care