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Research Activities

July 2009, No. 347


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Fewer families can afford to purchase their own health insurance than previously thought

Disparities/Minority Health

Underresourced clinics with more challenging patients may underlie poor chronic disease outcomes of minorities
Disparities in outpatient care and expenditures have widened for Hispanics, but not for blacks
Inner-city Hispanic adults with limited English proficiency have poorer asthma control and quality of life
Better short-term survival of blacks with heart failure is linked to less severe illness at hospital admission
The time spent in office visits with psychiatrists has equalized among blacks and whites in recent years
Studies explore survival and treatment disparities among black and white elderly patients with cancer
More comprehensive American Indian and Alaska Native diabetes education programs are linked to better diabetes care

Chronic Disease

Fewer than half of patients with diabetes are referred for lifestyle counseling, nutrition, and exercise
Patients with diabetes and depression are less likely to achieve goals for glucose control
Low omega-3 fatty acid levels found in patients with acute coronary syndrome and depression
Obesity boosts risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding
Personality factors influence how patients with chronic disease view their health and functioning
The prevalence of chronic, impairing low back pain has risen significantly in North Carolina
Using a chronic care model improves smoking cessation programs in primary care clinics

Child/Adolescent Health

Quality and accessible primary care is linked to fewer emergency department visits by Medicaid-insured children
Family and insurance factors are linked to poorer control of children's asthma
Children with acute bone infections can be switched from intravenous to oral antibiotics before hospital discharge
The number of hospitalized children on antifungal therapy has increased along with use of newer antifungal agents

Pharmaceutical Research

Risk factors for resistance to fluoroquinolone antibiotics change over time
Previous antimicrobial use is linked to drug resistance in Candida glabrata bloodstream infections

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Elderly patients on digoxin, recently discharged from the hospital, are at higher risk for drug-related toxicity
Dramatic changes in family structure have altered the care of disabled elderly parents

Women's Health

Elderly women still see lifelong cervical cancer screening as important
Tool helps women decide if prenatal genetic testing is the right decision for them

Health Information Technology

Staff "super users" who train others on clinical information systems help shape positive employee attitudes
Physician practices appear ready for electronic health record implementation
Data derived from electronic health records is not superior to administrative data for measuring performance
Electronic medication administration records improve communication and decisionmaking in nursing homes

Acute Care/Hospitalization

Getting patients admitted to a hospital floor reduces length of stay and congestion in emergency departments
Evidence-based practices improve pain management and lower costs for patients hospitalized for hip fracture
Surgical Apgar score can help pinpoint patients at risk for major complications and/or death after surgery

Patient Safety and Quality

Surgeons are skeptical about how surgeon-specific quality outcomes should be measured and reported
Anesthesiologists who read during operations are as vigilant as those who do not read
Several practices of hospital governing boards are linked to improved quality of care
Examining processes, not outcomes, improves patient safety in hospitals
Nurses feel left out of the medical error disclosure process

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Study underscores the positive impact of patient-centered care delivered by nurses on cancer patient outcomes
Nonelderly patients have more negative perceptions of patient-provider communication than the elderly
Patients who are connected to their doctors tend to receive care that adheres to guidelines

Rural Health

Study uncovers factors that determine when rural hospitals convert to critical access hospital designation

Health Care Costs and Financing

Both patient and hospital factors drive discharge costs of coronary artery bypass graft surgery
Information on past-year drug use improves the accuracy of Medicare Part D prescription drug payments to health plans

Agency News and Notes

Hospitalizations for asthma, diabetes, and other conditions are much higher among the poor
Keeping diabetes under control is still elusive for many Americans
Minorities and the poor find communicating with doctors more difficult
Nearly 25 million U.S. women treated for high blood pressure
Nearly two in three publicly insured adults under age 65 suffer from one or more chronic conditions
New AHRQ report finds no clear evidence for which erectile dysfunction drugs work best

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Page last reviewed July 2009
Internet Citation: Research Activities: July 2009, No. 347. July 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.