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AHCPR Awards Five Grants Targeting Quality-of-life, Cost-effectiveness Issues

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Press Release Date: June 25, 1997

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research today announced funding for five new research projects designed to improve health outcomes, patient satisfaction and overall quality of care.

"Consistent with the Department of Health and Human Services' and Secretary Shalala's commitment to quality of care, these studies will provide important measures to help physicians and other providers assess patients' well-being and improve outcomes of care," said AHCPR Administrator John M. Eisenberg, M.D.

AHCPR has awarded a total of $1.19 million for the first year of the projects. The newly funded projects are:

  • Quality of Well-Being Scale Revision Project. (Grant No.: HS09170). Principal investigator: Robert M. Kaplan, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. Project period: 1997-2000. First year funding: $231,035.

    This study will expand the application and usefulness of the Quality of Well-Being (QWB) Scale, a widely used health status measure that helps determine the quality of life. Specifically, the project will eliminate two barriers that have prevented the QWB from being used as widely as other measures: the fact that it could not be self-administered and did not offer a profile of outcomes. The QWB is one of the most useful scales for cost-effectiveness studies. It also is considered to be more sensitive to small changes in functional status than other similar scales.

  • Medical Intervention Effectiveness and Outcomes in COPD. (Grant No.: HS08774). Principal investigator: David R. Carter, M.S., Ph.D., University of Texas Health Center, Tyler, Texas. Project period: 1997-2000. First year funding: $241,888.

    This project will determine how variations in exercise training reduce mortality and increase the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study has the potential to decrease disability and health care utilization while improving quality of life through exercise. Documenting these benefits could provide the needed justification for including exercise as part of a standard of care for COPD patients.

  • Statistical Inference for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis. (Grant No.: HS09514). Principal investigator: Joseph Gardiner, Ph.D., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. Project period: 1997-2000. First year funding: $198,162.

    This research will develop and test new statistical procedures for cost-effectiveness analyses. The research plan will address the development of models that reflect accurately the experience of patients in sustained and changing states of health. The results could have immediate application to a number of other studies, especially given the variations in the cost of medical procedures, drugs and devices.

  • Severity of Lower Respiratory Tract Illness in Infants. (Grant No.: HS09062). Principal investigator: Kenneth M. McConnochie, M.D., M.P.H., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y. Project period: 1997-2000. First year funding: $269,144.

    This study will develop a predictive measure of lower-respiratory tract infections in infants that could serve as a guide to which infants should be hospitalized. Lower-respiratory tract illness (LRI) is the most common reason infants are hospitalized after the neonatal period. LRI costs about $700 million annually.

  • Patient-Centered, Computer-Assisted Quality Improvement. (Grant No.: HS08823). Principal investigator: Lisa E. Harris, M.D., Indiana University, Indianapolis, Ind. Project period: 1997-1998. First year funding: $253,556.

    This project will extend the techniques of computer-generated reminders to improving patient satisfaction and outcomes of care. It will also conduct a randomized controlled trial testing the effect on patient outcomes of a patient-centered, computer-assisted intervention targeted toward physicians and nurses.

For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Salina V. Prasad, (301) 427-1864 (

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