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April 19, 2001, Issue No. 26

AHRQ News and Numbers

Today's Headlines:

  1. Launch of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
  2. Web chat with researchers
  3. Child health toolbox
  4. Scholar-in-residence in child and adolescent health announcement
  5. Article in the Journal of Health & Social Behavior
  6. Article in the New England Journal of Medicine
  7. Chart on health care use for children 17 and under
  8. AHRQ co-author to receive AHSRHP's "Article of the Year" award
  9. Evidence report on the management of acne
  10. Evidence report on mind-body interventions for gastrointestinal conditions
  11. Do you listen to Audiotapes?
  12. Time running out to submit grant application for RFA on working conditions
  13. AHRQ in the professional literature
  14. Factoid

1. Launch of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)

On April 17, the third USPSTF issued recommendations on its first four topics:

  • Screening for Bacterial Vaginosis in Pregnancy.
  • Screening for Chlamydial Infection.
  • Screening for Lipid Disorders in Adults.
  • Screening for Skin Cancer.

These recommendations are published in a supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). Select to access the AHRQ Press Release, the AJPM supplement. A summary of the recommendations, written by David Atkins, M.D., Medical Officer of AHRQ's Center for Practice and Technology Assessment, will appear next week in British Medical Journal-USA. The USPSTF plans to release updates and new assessments on approximately 40 high-priority topics over the next 2 years.

2. Web Chat with Researchers

AHRQ hosted a live, moderated chat on its Web site with health services researchers and Gregg Meyer, M.D., Director of AHRQ's Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. Dr. Meyer answered questions about the Agency's budget, research priorities, and future funding opportunities. The transcript of the live chat will be archived on the AHRQ Web site and will be available next week.

3. Child Health Toolbox

On March 20, AHRQ released the Child Health toolbox, a research-based, online resource that consists of comprehensive descriptions of quality measurement tools. Users of this resource are expected to be:

  • Medicaid staff.
  • Public health staff.
  • Child health professionals.
  • Health care administrators.

Select to access this resource.

4.  Scholar-In-Residence in Child and Adolescent Health Announcement

AHRQ has extended the deadline for submitting applications for this position until July 30. The scholarship is to give a senior child and adolescent health services researcher an opportunity to enhance or develop areas of investigation that integrate children's and adolescents' health services questions with critical issues of:

  • Health outcomes.
  • Quality measurement and improvement.
  • Costs, financing, and organization of care.
  • Access.
  • Capacity building in child health services research.

Select to access the announcement.

5.  Article in the Journal of Health & Social Behavior

AHRQ issued on April 17 a press release on a study that reports on how changes in industry-level effects of sex and racial composition of the workforce, levels of union coverage and of part-time employment, and type of industry and firm size have contributed to changes in the level of employer-based health insurance received between 1988 and 1997. The article, "Economic Change and Health Benefits: Structural Trends in Employer-Based Health Insurance," by Lisa A. Cubbins, M.D., was published in the March issue of the Journal of Health & Social Behavior. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release.

6.  Article in the New England Journal of Medicine

AHRQ issued a press release on April 18 announcing the article, "Effect of Early or Delayed Insertion of Tympanostomy Tubes for Persistent Otitis Media on Developmental Outcomes at the Age of 3 Years," which appears in the April 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Preliminary findings indicate that children under 3 years with persistent otitis media, or ear infections, do not improve in developmental outcomes, such as speech, language, cognition, and psychosocial development, regardless of whether the tympanostomy tube placement is prompt or delayed. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release.

7.  Chart on Health Care Use for Children 17 and Under

AHRQ issued the second in a series of charts on children's health created with MEPS data. The charts are derived from tables in an article published in Ambulatory Pediatrics entitled "Annual Report on Access to and Utilization of Health Care for Children and Youth in the United States—2000." This second chart, which shows health care use by children age 17 and under, highlights the fact that more than 70 percent of children visit a doctor's office at least once during the year. AHRQ's Deputy Director, Dr. Lisa Simpson, is among the co-authors of the article. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the chart.

8.  AHRQ Co-Author to Receive AHSRHP's "Article of the Year" Award

The article, "Relation Between Prepublication Release of Clinical Trial Results and the Practice of Carotid Endarterectomy" by Cary P. Gross, Claudia A. Steiner (AHRQ researcher), Eric B. Bass, and Neil R. Powe, published in the December 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), was chosen as the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy (AHSRHP) article of the year. The article is based on data from AHRQ's State Inpatient Databases from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Copies are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

9.  Evidence Report on the Management of Acne

AHRQ released on April 18 the summary of the new evidence report, Management of Acne. The summary states there is still much work to be done to define the best approach to managing acne in individual patients based upon their specific characteristics. Until this is done, the researchers say the process of care for patients with acne will remain highly individualized, based upon the experience of the patient and the treating physician. The report was developed on behalf of AHRQ by the Evidence-based Practice Center at Johns Hopkins University. Select to access the summary. Print copies of the summary are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

10.  Evidence Report on Mind-Body Interventions for Gastrointestinal Conditions

AHRQ released on April 18 an evidence report/technology assessment that examines the literature on the use of mind-body interventions for gastrointestinal conditions. It indicates that the trials which exist on gastrointestinal conditions are seriously limited by methodological problems. There is limited evidence to support the efficacy of behavioral, cognitive, guided imagery, or relaxation therapies, and methodological shortcomings preclude drawing conclusions about hypnosis. Results are mixed regarding the use of biofeedback. The report was developed on behalf of AHRQ by the Evidence-based Practice Center/RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA. Select to access the summary. Print copies of the summary are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295.

11.  Do You Listen to Audiotapes?

AHRQ's User Liaison Program, which conducts workshops for State and local health policy officials, has audiotapes of its 2- to 3-day workshops. Topics include Realizing the Promise of Value-based Purchasing, Strengthening the Health Care Safety Net, Expanding Long-term Care Choices for the Elderly, and Addressing the Problems of Depression. Call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, 1-800-358-9295; or E-mail them at

12.  Time Running Out to Submit Grant Applications for RFA on Working Conditions

This Request for Application (RFA), "The Effect of Health Care Working Conditions on Quality of Care," was issued on March 26. Applications are due by May 21. Select to access the AHRQ Press Release and the RFA.

13.  AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Basu J. Access to primary care: the role of race and income. J Health Soc Policy 2001 Apr; 13(4):57-73.

Cohen SB. Guest editor's preface. J Econ Soc Meas 2000; 26(2):79-81.

Fernandez A, Grumbach K, Vranizan K. Primary care physicians' experience with disease management programs. J Gen Intern Med 2001 Mar; 16(3):163-67.

Grabenstein JD, Guess HA, Hartzema AG, et al. Effect of vaccination by community pharmacists among adult prescription recipients. Med Care 2001 Apr; 39(4):340-48.

Jiang HJ, Ciccone K, Urlaub CJ, et al. Adapting the HCUP QIs for hospital use. Jt Comm J Qual Improv 2001 Apr; 27(4):200-15.

Meredith LS, Orlando M, Humphrey N, et al. Are better ratings of the patient-provider relationship associated with higher quality care for depression? Med Care 2001 Apr; 39(4):349-60.

Meyer G, Foster N, Christrup S, et al. Setting a research agenda for medical errors and patient safety. Health Serv Res 2001 Apr; 36(1, Part 1):x-xx.

14.  Factoid

Fifty-seven percent of people with a chronic disease or disability are "very concerned" about medical errors happening to them, while 45 percent of those without a chronic disease or disability have the same worry. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality/Kaiser Family Foundation National Survey on Americans as Health Care Consumers: An Update on the Role of Quality Information, December 2000]

Contact Information

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Current as of April 2001


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