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June 7, 2002, Issue No. 60

AHRQ News and Numbers

In 1999, 291,562 patients were hospitalized for total or partial hip replacements in U.S. community hospitals, with an average length of stay of 5.5 days and an average charge of $23,385. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Inpatient Sample.]

Today's Headlines:

  1. Chronic disease self-management program can help prevent or delay disabilities
  2. Testimony on AHRQ's role by Carolyn Clancy
  3. AHRQ's CERTs director testified before FDA on risk management and prescription drugs
  4. Grants on-line database (GOLD)
  5. Nominations for National Healthcare Disparities Report measures and candidate data sets
  6. Guidelines added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™
  7. Highlights from the most recent edition of our monthly newsletter
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Can Help Prevent or Delay Disabilities

AHRQ announced research showing that a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) can help prevent or delay disability, even in patients with heart disease, hypertension, or arthritis. Additional AHRQ-funded research has shown that education and lifestyle changes can also reduce disability, control costs, and have a positive influence on the quality of life of older Americans. The CDSMP, developed as a result of AHRQ-sponsored research, was published in Research in Action: Preventing Disability in the Elderly With Chronic Disease. This is the third in a series of Research in Action syntheses begun in 2001. Select to access the research synthesis. A print copy is available by sending an E-mail to

2.  Testimony on AHRQ's Role by Carolyn Clancy

Carolyn Clancy, M.D., acting director of AHRQ, testified on May 21 before the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources, Committee on Government Reform, on AHRQ's role in eliminating racial and ethic disparities in health. On May 23, she testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on AHRQ's role in evidence-based preventive health care services. Select to access the testimony on eliminating racial and ethnic disparities and the testimony for evidence-based preventive health care services.

3.  AHRQ's CERTs Director Testified Before FDA on Risk Management and Prescription Drugs

AHRQ's Centers for Education & Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) director Dr. Rob Califf testified at a May 22 public hearing sponsored by the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The hearing focused on risk communication, tools for risk management, and evaluation of risk management strategies and interventions. In his remarks, Dr. Califf indicated that the current system of risk management needs improvement and suggested that new policies in this area be guided by information based on health services research.

4.  Grants On-Line Database (GOLD)

AHRQ launched a new database of grants funded by the Agency. The database currently contains grants funded in Fiscal Year 2001. Over the next several months, we will be expanding the database to include grants funded in Fiscal Year 2000 and Fiscal Year 2002, as well as adding additional search capabilities. Select to search the database.

5.  Nominations for National Healthcare Disparities Report Measures and Candidate Data Sets

AHRQ invites nominations of measures and candidate data sets for inclusion in the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). The first NHDR will focus on health care disparities for racial/ethnic groups compared with other groups with respect to access to and quality of care. The report will provide answers on a national basis to critical questions about disparities in health care and will permit the development of a more complete picture of health care in America, including who has access to care and what kind of care is being provided. The NHDR provides an important opportunity for the HHS to further its long-term commitment to identifying and reducing avoidable disparities in health care. Nominations of measures and data sets should be submitted to:

Sari Siegel
Center for Primary Care Research, AHRQ
6010 Executive Boulevard, Suite 201
Rockville, MD 20852.

Select to access the Federal Register notice.

6.  Guidelines Added to the National Guideline Clearinghouse™

Select to see what's new at the National Guideline Clearinghouse™—a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Select to subscribe to the NGC Weekly Update Service, which notifies you via E-mail when new features and guidelines become available at the NGC Web site. AHRQ also has available a supply of NGC tutorials on CD-ROM. The tutorial walks the user through a series of informative demonstrations and scenarios on using NGC. The CD-ROM is available free of charge by calling the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an E-mail to

7.  Highlights from the Most Recent Edition of our Monthly Newsletter

The new issue of Research Activities is in the mail. The key articles are:

  1. Non-aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not protect individuals from the risk of heart attack.
  2. Mechanical ventilation of low birthweight newborns substantially increases the risk of disabling cerebral palsy.
  3. Making pneumonia and influenza vaccinations more convenient may increase immunizations among elderly and at-risk people.
  4. Peer review organizations may need to reconsider the use of physician and nurse reviews of quality of care.

Select for these articles and others.

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.

Bierman AS, Lurie N, Collins KS, et al. Addressing racial and ethnic barriers to effective health care: the need for better data. Health Affairs 2002 May/June;21(3):91-102. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Klassen AC, Hall AG, Saksvig B, et al. Relationship between patients' perceptions of disadvantage and discrimination and listing for kidney transplantation. Am J Public Health 2002 May; 92(5):811-17. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Battles JB, Keyes MA. Technology and patient safety: a two-edged sword. Biomed Instrum Technol 2002 Mar-Apr; 36(2):84-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Frank G, Blackhall LJ, Murphy ST, et al. Ambiguity and hope: Disclosure preferences of less acculturated elderly Mexican Americans concerning terminal cancer—A case story. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 2002 Spring; 11(2):117-26. 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.

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Current as of June 2002


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