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Research Activities

June 2009, No. 346


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Reports show few health care disparities eliminated, persistent variations in care, and slow pace of improvement

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Type of beta blocker may affect mortality after hospitalization for heart failure
Delayed occurrence of hypotension or bradycardia justifies continued monitoring of patients after carotid artery stenting
Home care problems can put patients with diabetes at risk for visits to the emergency room or hospitalization
Failure to intensify drug therapies may lead to suboptimal control of diabetes despite adequate monitoring
Patients infected with hepatitis C virus fare best with optimal dosage and adherence to combination medications
Perceptions about fruit and vegetable intake are influenced by individual and community factors

Chronic Disease

Primary care recognition and treatment of chronic kidney disease can be markedly improved with a few approaches
Clinician interviews are the best method to determine whether patients with kidney failure are also depressed
Medicare beneficiaries with cancer do not frequently use National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers for care
Caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's dementia are more likely to visit emergency departments or be hospitalized when depressed
Lupus increases direct health care costs and loss of work productivity

Pharmaceutical Research

Pharmacists' efforts to contact patients or physicians do not improve refills for chronic disease medications
Study shows no conclusive relationship between long-term statin use and lower risk of a type of skin cancer

Women's Health

Women with cardiac symptoms are more likely than men to experience delays in emergency care
Abused women are more likely to rely on condoms than birth control pills to prevent pregnancies

Disparities/Minority Health

Weekly telephone calls help patients with limited English proficiency and literacy self-manage diabetes
Nurse-led disease management of heart failure is cost-effective in ethnically diverse urban communities
Minority children from disadvantaged families use more urgent care and less preventive care for their asthma
Caregiving is especially challenging for Korean Americans

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Deaths and rehospitalizations for elderly patients have not decreased despite advances in heart failure therapies
Race and gender affect the likelihood that elderly patients will take their antihypertensive medications

Health Information Technology

Electronic health records provide more complete information than paper-based records in labor and delivery units
Patient-centered health information technology has little impact on reducing pediatric medication errors in emergency departments

Child/Adolescent Health

Health information systems need to address pediatric needs
Adult drug for sickle cell anemia may be safe for children

Emergency Medicine

Emergency departments need to do more to maximize patient safety
Quality of asthma care varies significantly in emergency departments

Acute Care/Hospitalization

Discharge process reduces hospital use in the 30 days following discharge
Patients actively engaged in their health are more likely to adhere to physical therapy after spine surgery
Substance abuse is linked to readmissions for mood disorders
Experience, career satisfaction, and fewer work hours lead to less stress for attending physicians

Patient Safety and Quality

Patient safety events make hospital stays longer and more costly
Staff perceptions of hospital patient safety differ by department and position
WalkRounds program enhances the patient safety climate in hospitals
Faculty and leadership are unhappy with medical school culture
Study calls for better data for physician profiling
Competition among HMOs may have a negative impact on quality
Recent past performance ratings of HMOs predict good performance in the future
Study outlines the challenges of conducting quality improvement studies at rural and small community hospitals

Health Care Costs and Financing

The cost and impact of medical errors continue long after hospital discharge
Use of heath care among the uninsured increases over time during the first year without insurance

Dental Health

Current and prior cavities and dentists' assessments help identify patients at risk for future cavities

Agency News and Notes

High blood pressure was the most common condition for which women sought treatment in 2006
Medicare payments for outpatient prescription drugs jumped by more than $38 billion in 2006
Mental disorders, asthma, and trauma injuries topped the list of most costly medical conditions in children in 2006
Repeat C-sections rose dramatically in the past decade


Task Force reaffirms recommendations for screening and counseling all adults and pregnant women for tobacco use
Call for Papers for HSR Theme Issue on Payment Reform

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Healthcare 411
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

Page last reviewed June 2009
Internet Citation: Research Activities: June 2009, No. 346. June 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.