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AHCPR and Private Groups Partner on Pilot Evidence Reports

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Press Release Date: February 27, 1997

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research has entered into partnerships with medical professional groups to develop two pilot evidence reports under its new evidence-based practice program, announced AHCPR Acting Administrator Lisa A. Simpson, M.B., B.Ch.

AHCPR is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to develop an evidence report on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to develop an evidence report on valvular heart disease. AHCPR will develop the reports in consultation with the professional groups.

"We are pleased to add the ADHD and valvular heart disease partnerships to our evidence-based practice program," said Dr. Simpson. "These efforts typify AHCPR's new role as 'science partner' with public and private groups in our effort to provide the scientific foundation they and other users need to develop their own quality improvement tools."

These reports—along with evidence reports on screening for colorectal cancer and the diagnosis and management of chronic headache pain-topics under development by AHCPR-sponsored guideline panels when AHCPR discontinued its practice guideline program— be the prototypes for the evidence reports to be developed by AHCPR's Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs), Dr. Simpson said. The EPCs will produce evidence reports and technology assessments based on comprehensive reviews and rigorous analyses of the relevant scientific evidence.

AHCPR released the evidence report on colorectal cancer screening January 23.

The ADHD evidence report is being done in partnership with the AAP's Subcommittee on ADHD, headed by AAP's James M. Perrin, M.D., head of the division of general pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard; and Martin T. Stein, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. The report will focus on the initial evaluation and diagnosis of ADHD in the primary care setting.

"Combining our efforts with AHCPR will enable AAP to do a more timely and thorough review and analysis of the scientific evidence than otherwise would be feasible," said Dr. Perrin. "As a result, AAP's guideline on ADHD will be based on the best, most rigorously analyzed science available."

The evidence report on valvular heart disease will result from a partnership with the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines, Committee to Develop Guidelines for Valvular Heart Disease, chaired by Robert Bonow, M.D., head of the division of cardiology at Northwestern University, Chicago. Topics to be included in the evidence report include initial evaluation of cardiac murmurs and evaluation of tests used in the work-up/evaluation of newly diagnosed heart murmurs.

According to Dr. Bonow, "This partnership with AHCPR will enhance our ability to thoroughly review the latest available research on valvular heart disease and strengthen the evidence base supporting our guideline development effort."

The ADHD and valvular heart disease evidence reports are expected to be completed by mid-1997. AHCPR will obtain feedback from the AAP, ACC and AHA on the usefulness and effectiveness of these reports to inform subsequent efforts by the EPCs.

Both the AAP and the ACC/AHA teams will use the evidence reports to develop clinical practice guidelines on their respective topics. The AHCPR evidence reports also will be in the public domain, available to all interested users, including professional societies and health plans, for their use in creating guidelines or for other quality improvement activities.

AHCPR announced in the December 23 Federal Register that it is inviting nominations of topics for additional evidence reports and technology assessments. AHCPR has extended the due date for nominations of topics to March 24, 1997.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for the EPC program was announced in the November 22 Commerce Business Daily and was issued December 23. Proposals are due March 24, 1997.

For print copies of the EPC RFP (AHCPR-97-0001), send a written request to: AHCPR Contracts Management Staff, Attention: Al Deal, Executive Office Center, Suite 601, 2101 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, Md. 20852; telefax (301) 443-7523. Include the requestor's name, affiliation, address, and telephone and telefax numbers.

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

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