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AHRQ Issues Notice of Intent for Comparative Effectiveness Grants and Contracts Under the Recovery Act

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 280

Electronic Newsletter

August 20, 2009

AHRQ News and Numbers

The proportion of low income workers who were uninsured increased from 26 percent in 1996 to 34.5 percent by 2006. The average household income for a family in 2006 was $40,888. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Chartbook 18, Full-Time Poor and Low-Income Workers: Demographic Characteristics and Trends in Health Insurance Coverage, 1996-97 to 2005-06.]

Today's Headlines

  1. AHRQ issues notice of intent for comparative effectiveness grants and contracts Under the Recovery Act
  2. AHRQ releases guides to help pregnant women and doctors compare treatments for gestational diabetes
  3. AHRQ-funded distributed data networks show promise of advancing comparative effectiveness and other research
  4. New AHRQ evidence report on hip fracture available
  5. Do you know how AHRQ's research is being used?
  6. Calling all AHRQ researchers! "Help us to help you."
  7. Twitter updates about AHRQ
  8. AHRQ in the professional literature

1.  AHRQ Issues Notice of Intent for Comparative Effectiveness Grants and Contracts Under the Recovery Act

AHRQ has issued a Notice of Intent to publish grant and contract solicitations for comparative effectiveness research projects with $300 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). AHRQ anticipates grant and contract solicitations to be published beginning in fall 2009 with awards starting in spring 2010. Until the solicitations are published, AHRQ cannot provide additional information on their contents. In the meantime, interested parties may sign up to receive E-mail updates by clicking on the red envelope at the top of AHRQ's Effective Health Care program Web site.

2.  AHRQ Releases Guides to Help Pregnant Women and Doctors Compare Treatments for Gestational Diabetes

AHRQ released two new guides that can help women with gestational diabetes and their doctors make informed decisions about different treatments for the condition. The guides provide the latest scientific evidence on the effectiveness and safety of drugs for gestational diabetes—a potentially dangerous condition that affects 7 out of 100 pregnant women. The disease can cause the unborn child to become very large, resulting in longer labor, rupture of the uterus, trauma to the baby, and other complications. Gestational diabetes disappears after childbirth, but 5 percent of women who had it during pregnancy develop type 2 diabetes within 6 months and 60 percent within 10 years. The consumer guide, Gestational Diabetes: A Guide for Pregnant Women, presents treatment options, including diet, insulin, or the oral diabetes medicines, glyburide or metaformin, and gives women advice on what they should do after pregnancy, such as having their blood sugar monitored regularly, since they have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The clinician's guide, Gestational Diabetes: Medications, Delivery, and Development of Type 2 Diabetes covers these topics, provides an at-a-glance "clinical bottom line " for managing patients, along with ratings of the evidence for each treatment, a list of risk factors that may mean a woman is likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and other information on helping patients manage gestational diabetes. Print copies are available by sending an E-mail to

3. AHRQ-Funded Distributed Data Networks Show Promise of Advancing Comparative Effectiveness and Other Research

AHRQ has funded the development of two prototype distributed research networks that will support comparative effectiveness and public health research allowing users to analyze enriched patient data while ensuring that clinicians maintain patient confidentiality, ownership and control of data that they input. The Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network and the HMO Research Network Distributed Research Network were developed through the Effective Health Care Program's DEcIDE (Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness) Network. Reports from the first phase of these DEcIDE projects can be found on AHRQ's Effective Health Care Web site.

4. New AHRQ Evidence Report on Hip Fracture Available

AHRQ released a new evidence report, Treatment of Common Hip Fractures, which shows the types of devices that orthopedic surgeons use to repair different types of hip fractures in patients over 50 do not appear to affect their outcomes. However, due to inconsistencies in the studies, the strength of currently available evidence is limited to fair or poor to fair. The research, led by Mary Butler, Ph.D., reviewed studies on the outcomes of elderly patients who were treated for femoral neck, intertrochanteric, and subtrochanteric types of fractures. The authors' recommendations for improving the quality of this type of research include more collaboration between epidemiologists and surgeon researchers, including nursing home or dementia patients in studies, making consistent use of validated outcome measures, and pooling data. The review was conducted by AHRQ's Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center in Minneapolis, and was requested by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Select to access the report.

5. Do You Know How AHRQ's Research Is Being Used?

We are always looking for ways in which AHRQ-funded research, products, and tools have changed people's lives, influenced clinical practice, improved policies, and affected patient outcomes. These impact case studies describe AHRQ research findings in action and are used in testimony, budget documents, and speeches. If your AHRQ-funded research has had an impact on health care policy, clinical practice, or patient outcomes, we would like to know. Contact AHRQ's Impact Case Studies Program at or (301) 427-1243 with your impact stories.

6. Calling All AHRQ Researchers! "Help Us to Help You."

As you may know, AHRQ can help you promote the findings of your AHRQ-funded 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 better. 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 public relations 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.

7. Twitter Updates about AHRQ

AHRQ news updates are now available on Twitter, a micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates to people in their social network. Select to follow AHRQ on Twitter. If you do not already have a Twitter account, you will be prompted to create one. Twitter accounts are free.

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.

Delfino M Jr, Holt EW, Taylor CR, et al. Willingness-to-pay stated preferences for 8 health-related quality-of life domains in psoriasis: a pilot study. J Am Acad Dermatol 2008 Sep; 59(3):439-47. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Eden KB, Messina R, Li H, et al. Examining the value of electronic health records on labor and delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2008 Sep; 199(3):307.e1-e9.Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Strate LL, Ayanian JZ, Kotler G, et al. Risk factors for mortality in lower intestinal bleeding. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008 Sep; 6(9):1004-10. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Yu JW, Adams SH, Burns J, et al. Use of mental health counseling as adolescents become young adults. J Adolesc Health 2008 Sep; 43(3):268-76. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Rush WA, Whitebird RR, Rush MR, et al. Depression in patients with diabetes: does it impact clinical goals? J Am Board Fam Med 2008 Sep-Oct; 21(5):392-7. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Akincigil A, Hoover DR, Walkup JT, et al. Hospitalization for psychiatric illness among community-dwelling elderly persons in 1992 and 2002. Psychiatr Serv 2008 Sep; 59(9):1046-8. Select to access the abstract in PubMed.®

Contact Information

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

If you have questions about AHRQ's activities, please try to find the answers by checking our Home Page, where we have established links to various topical areas. Also check the News & Information section and Frequently Asked Questions. You may also Browse the Web Site. These features are designed to assist you in obtaining the information you are seeking.

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

Page last reviewed August 2009
Internet Citation: AHRQ Issues Notice of Intent for Comparative Effectiveness Grants and Contracts Under the Recovery Act: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 280. August 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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