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New Web Platforms Promote Effective Health Care Program Resources

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 375
AHRQ's Electronic Newsletter summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.
April 9, 2013

AHRQ Stats

Millions of U.S. women ages 18 to 39 sought medical care in 2009 for the following conditions: mental disorders (6.4 million), asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (5.5 million), bronchitis and upper respiratory infection (5.3 million), and normal pregnancy and childbirth (5 million). (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #403, Health Care Expenditures for the Most Commonly Treated Conditions of Women Ages 18 to 39, 2009.)

Today's Headlines

  1. New Web Platforms Promote Effective Health Care Program Resources.
  2. New Research Review Examines Prostate Cancer Screening Tests.
  3. Report Finds Stronger Research Needed on the Effectiveness of Interventions to Prevent PTSD.
  4. Revised 2014 Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) Now Available.
  5. AHRQ in the professional literature.

 1. New Web Platforms Promote Effective Health Care Program Resources

AHRQ has boosted its ongoing dissemination of the Effective Health Care (EHC) Program’s evidence-based tools and resources by launching web platforms for both consumers and clinicians. As part of the Agency’s Treatment Options initiative, AHRQ developed English and Spanish language Facebook pages titled Treatment Options: Explore. Compare. Prepare and Informate. Compara. Preparate.    The Facebook pages link to the EHC Program’s short, unbiased treatment summaries that help readers compare treatment options, understand treatments’ benefits and risks, and prepare for medical appointments. Meanwhile, and    launched new pages that highlight EHC Program resources. WebMD encourages visitors to know their treatment options by exploring EHC consumer publications on diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and other conditions. Medscape features EHC clinician research summaries on cardiovascular health, women's health, diabetes, endocrinology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, psychiatry and mental health, and pulmonology. Health professional sites (, Family Practice News, Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants) link to content on the EHC Program Web site, and consumer sites (Healthline, Remedy Health, CNN Health, Terra) link to consumer resources on the new Facebook pages.

2. New Research Review Examines Prostate Cancer Screening Tests

A low strength of evidence exists to show that the prostate cancer antigen 3 gene test (PCA3) has better diagnostic accuracy at predicting prostate cancer than using elevated serum total prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, according to a new research review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program. However, insufficient evidence is available to conclude that the PCA3 test leads to improved intermediate or long-term health outcomes. Prostate cancer screening has been widely discussed in recent years, and the FDA recently approved a new PCA3 assay, the first molecular test to help determine the need for repeat prostate biopsies in men who have had a previous negative biopsy. When used in conjunction with other diagnostic information, the PCA3 test can better inform decision-making about repeat biopsy. More research is needed to assess the comparative effectiveness of the PCA3 test in predicting prostate cancer at biopsy and to better inform biopsy, management, and treatment decisions. Select to access the research review, PCA3 Testing for the Diagnosis and Management of Prostate Cancer.

 3. Report Finds Stronger Research Needed on the Effectiveness of Interventions to Prevent PTSD Interventions

A new review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program identifies areas that need more and methodologically better research about the efficacy of interventions to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specific therapies appear to be effective, such as collaborative care (a combination of care management, psychopharmacology, and cognitive behavioral therapy) for patients who require inpatient surgical admission and brief trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for people with acute stress disorder. However, debriefing is ineffective in reducing either the incidence or severity of PTSD or depressive symptoms in people who experience crime, assault, or accident trauma. Sixty percent of men and 51 percent of women report experiencing at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of those individuals develop PTSD symptoms, which are associated with impaired functioning. More research is needed to develop a way to identify people at high risk of developing PTSD after trauma exposure and to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention interventions. Select to access the full research review, Interventions for the Prevention of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults After Exposure to Psychological Trauma.

 4. Revised 2014 Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) Now Available

AHRQ, in collaboration with CMS, the National Library of Medicine, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, maintains the Meaningful Use Portal in the United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK). USHIK presents the updated 2014 clinical quality measures (CQM) data elements and their value sets. The April 1 release of the most recent versions of the 2014 CQMs may be downloaded in these file formats: HL7’s HQMF (xml); Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise’s Sharing Value Sets (xml); Adobe (pdf); Excel (xls); and Comma separated values (csv). The USHIK also provides a single flat-file format containing all of the new 2014 CQM clinical concepts and their value sets, organized by CQM name and ID and by vocabulary code system (such as ICD-9-CM, SNOMED CT, RxNORM). The flat file is available for download in csv format, xml format (with schema), and as an Excel spreadsheet. Select to access USHIK.

 5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Genberg BL, Wilson IB, Bangsberg DR, et al. Patterns of antiretroviral therapy adherence and impact on HIV RNA among patients in North America. AIDS 2012 Jul 17; 26(11):1415-23. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sun BC, Hsia RY, Weiss RE, et al. Effect of emergency department crowding on outcomes of admitted patients. Ann Emerg Med 2012 Dec 10. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Chen J, Johnson BA, Wang XQ, et al. Trajectory analyses in alcohol treatment research. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2012 Aug; 36(8):1442-8. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Tjia J, Gurwitz JH, Briesacher BA. Challenge of changing nursing home prescribing culture. Am J Geriatr Pharmacother 2012 Feb; 10(1):37-46. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

YaDeau JT, Tedore T, Goytizolo EA, et al. Lumbar plexus blockade reduces pain after hip arthroscopy: a prospective randomized controlled trial. Anesth Analg 2012 Oct; 115(4):968-72. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Kirley K, Qato DM, Kornfield R, Stafford RS, Alexander GC. National trends in oral anticoagulant use in the United States, 2007 to 2011. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2012 Sep 1; 5(5):615-21. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Abramson EL, Patel V, Malhotra S, et al. Physician experiences transitioning between an older versus newer electronic health record for electronic prescribing. Int J Med Inform 2012 Aug; 81(8):539-48. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Mitchell SE, Sadikova E, Jack BW, et al. Health literacy and 30-day postdischarge hospital utilization. J Health Commun 2012 Oct; 17 Suppl 3:325-38. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Page last reviewed April 2013
Page originally created April 2013


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