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Research Activities

May 2009, No. 345


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Task Force recommends screening adolescents for clinical depression

Patient Safety and Quality

AHRQ sponsors issue of Health Services Research that examines the implementation, assessment, and evaluation of patient safety initiatives
Hospital reports on patient safety incidents can be useful in identifying the contributing factors, but often need more detail
Physicians correctly identify fewer than half of drug pairs with potentially dangerous interactions
Kidney function is critical clue to reducing preventable medication problems
Lack of resources and time, along with staff burnout, are barriers to sustaining quality improvement in community health centers
Physicians miss opportunities to give emotional support to cancer patients

Women's Health

Tracking system ensures women with breast cancer see oncologists and receive additional treatment
Women with a family history of colon cancer have good survival rates when diagnosed with that cancer

Health Information Technology

Clinical decision support systems are costly to develop and rely heavily on physician and pharmacist expertise
Physicians who use electronic health records may be less likely to pay malpractice claims

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Patients with drug-coated stent implants have a lower risk of death and heart attack when compared with patients who receive bare metal stents
Costs, morbidity, and mortality are high for patients with mechanical heart pumps
Use of a new heart failure therapy that resynchronizes contraction of ventricles varies

Clinical Decisionmaking

Use of a clinical algorithm can reduce unnecessary antibiotic use for treatment of sore throat in adults
Duration of illness strongly influences practitioners to prescribe antibiotics in treating acute respiratory tract infections

Chronic Disease

Telephone nurse support can be cost-effective to help improve functioning and quality of life for patients with diabetes
Use of a chronic care model framework in primary care practices can influence patient health status

Primary Care Research

Simple, effective methods to promote increased physical activity introduced to older American Indians in a primary care setting yield positive results
Lack of self-efficacy keeps inner-city primary care providers from following national asthma management guidelines

Pharmaceutical Research

Giving patients drugs that interfere with fluoroquinolone antibiotic absorption may lead to resistant infections
Patients who suffer heart failure do well if they take any beta-blocker rather than only those extensively tested for the condition
Study explores the ethics of using cluster randomized trials to compare drug effectiveness
Model prioritizes which drugs used off-label should be studied first

HIV/AIDS Research

Treatment failure may take up to 90 days after patients stop taking their antiretroviral medication as directed
Sociodemographic factors influence early discontinuation of antiretroviral medication for HIV infection

Health Care Costs and Financing

State Medicaid programs vary in prior authorization policies for use of costly biologic antirheumatic drugs
Low-risk patients under observation for chest pain often undergo costly interventions and care

Emergency Medicine

Vehicle accidents and patient mishandling are the most common reasons for legal claims against emergency medical services

Agency News and Notes

Eating disorders are sending more Americans to the hospital
Treating heart ailments costs $78 billion


AHRQ and the Ad Council encourage consumers to ask questions and get more involved in their health care
New plain language guides on the comparison of insulin treatments for Type 2 diabetes are available

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

Page last reviewed May 2009
Internet Citation: Research Activities: May 2009, No. 345. May 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.