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March 31, 2006, Issue No. 195

AHRQ News and Numbers

Nearly 31 million people—14.1 percent of the nation's adult population—were seen in hospital emergency rooms (ER) in 2003. Overall, about $1 of every $10 spent on ambulatory care went to pay ER visits. A total of $29.3 billion was spent by private insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, patients, and other miscellaneous sources on ER care in 2003, compared with a total of $268.7 billion for ambulatory care provided in hospital outpatient departments and office-based settings. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS, Statistical Brief #111: Expenses for a Hospital Emergency Room Visit. (PDF File, 94 KB; PDF Help)]

Today's Headlines:

  1. New evidence report, Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request, is available
  2. AHRQ establishes new database to host information from Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture
  3. New findings show a nationwide increase in antipsychotic medications used for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  4. National Advisory Council meeting scheduled for April 7
  5. Eighth Annual Child Health Services Research meeting set for June 24
  6. Translating Research Into Practice 2006 conference set for July 10-12
  7. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  New Evidence Report, Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request, Is Available

AHRQ released a new evidence report examining the use of cesarean delivery in births where there are no factors, either for mother or child that would make the procedure medically advisable. The report found no major differences in the results of a first-time cesarean delivery at the mother's request and a planned vaginal delivery, but cautions that the evidence is too weak to warrant a firm conclusion that there are in fact no differences. The authors note that, if a woman chooses to have a cesarean for her first delivery, she is more likely to have her subsequent deliveries by cesarean, and that repeat cesareans entail increasing risks.

The report, Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request, was requested and funded by the NIH's Office of the Medical Applications of Research, for a State-of-the-Science Conference on the topic on March 27-29. AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center, RTI International—University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducted the systematic literature review and prepared the report. Select to access the report). A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to

2.  AHRQ Establishes New Database To Host Information from Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture

AHRQ is establishing a new Survey on Patient Safety Culture Database to serve as a national repository for data collected using AHRQ's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. This database will be an important resource for hospitals wishing to compare their patient safety culture survey results with those of similar hospitals. Hospitals will not be publicly identified in the database. Participation is open to hospitals in the United States or one of its territories that have completed administration of the AHRQ survey by May 31. To learn more about eligibility requirements, registration procedures, and the benefits of participation, access the AHRQ Web site or send an E-mail to with your complete contact information and "Database" in the subject line of your E-mail message.

3.  New Findings Show a Nationwide Increase in Antipsychotic Medications Used for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

An AHRQ-funded study, "Trends in Prescribing of Antipsychotic Medications for U.S. Children," that was published in the March-April issue of Ambulatory Pediatrics found that the overall frequency of antipsychotic prescribing in the U.S. increased fivefold—from 8.6 out of 1,000 U.S. children in 1995-1996 to 39.4 out of 1,000 children in 2001-2002. According to the researchers, led by William Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of Pediatrics in the Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit at Vanderbilt University, the increase in frequencies of antipsychotic prescribing and the large number of children receiving antipsychotics each year reinforce the urgent need to conduct well-controlled studies of these medications in children. Select to access the Vanderbilt University press release and to access the abstract in PubMed®.

4.  National Advisory Council Meeting Scheduled for April 7

The AHRQ National Advisory Council is scheduled to meet on Friday, April 7 in the John M. Eisenberg Room (800), Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC. The Council will discuss AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, ambulatory care safety, and engaging consumers in quality and safety.

5.  Eighth Annual Child Health Services Research Meeting Set for June 24

The eighth annual Child Health Services Research Meeting will be held on June 24 in Seattle, WA. The meeting will feature presentations of the most recent child health services research, debates on critical health policy issues for kids, skill-building workshops on quality indicators and data resources, and a joint poster session with National Research Service Award trainees featuring more than 150 posters. Select to register and for more information.

6.  Translating Research Into Practice 2006 Conference Set for July 10-12

AHRQ and NIH's National Cancer Institute are cosponsoring the fourth annual Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) conference on July 10-12 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. This year's conference "TRIP: Optimizing the Medium and the Message," will highlight strategies and tools for designing TRIP interventions to effectively reach different audiences and settings. The conference will provide an opportunity for health services researchers, clinicians, health care managers, payers, patient and consumer representatives, industry representatives, and policymakers to share innovative TRIP research and implementation methods, case studies, and other experiences.

7. 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.

Singh-Manoux A, Hillsdon M, Brunner E, et al. Effects of physical activity on cognitive functioning in middle age: evidence from the Whitehall II prospective cohort study. Am J Public Health 2005 Dec;95(12):2252-8. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Field TS, Gilman BH, Subramanian S, et al. The costs associated with adverse drug events among older adults in the ambulatory setting. Med Care 2005 Dec;43(12):1171-6. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Goitein L, Shanafelt TD, Wipf JE, et al. The effects of work-hour limitations on resident well-being, patient care, and education in an internal medicine residency program. Arch Intern Med 2005 Dec 12-26;165(22):2601-6. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Evenhouse E, Reilly S. Improved estimates of the benefits of breastfeeding using sibling comparisons to reduce selection bias. Health Serv Res 2005 Dec;40(6 Pt 1):1758-80. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Mayberry R, Davis T, Alema-Mensah E, et al. Determinants of glycemic status monitoring in black and white Medicaid beneficiaries with diabetes mellitus. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2005 Nov;16(4 Suppl A):31-49. Select to access the abstract in PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Current as of March 2005


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