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Research Activities

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April 2002, No. 260


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Nationwide study confirms that older patients who need certain high-risk surgeries fare better in more experienced hospitals

Heart Disease

Directing certain bypass patients from low- to high-volume hospitals could balance clinical benefits with patient choice
Referring children who need cardiac surgery to high-volume regional hospitals reduces deaths but increases travel distance
Lipid-lowering medication should be considered early in treatment of blacks with diabetes and high LDL cholesterol levels
Researchers examine cost-effectiveness of implantable defibrillators and amiodarone medication
Elderly heart attack patients treated in VA and non-VA hospitals are equally likely to receive appropriate medications

Clinical Decisionmaking

Mode of delivery may be related to bleeding problems among very low birthweight newborns
Poor asthma knowledge and exposure to indoor allergens complicate recovery after an acute asthma episode
Training, feedback on performance, and clinical reminders may encourage doctors to intensify therapy for patients who need it
Misconceptions about cancer clinical trials occur often among patients and researchers

Health Care Delivery

U.S. hysterectomy rates stayed constant in the 1990s and continued to be much higher than in most European countries
Having a regular source of primary care helps adults with diabetes manage their diet and improve glucose control
Certain verbal and nonverbal behaviors by physicians are associated with favorable patient outcomes
Patients welcome discussions with their doctors about smoking and other behaviors that affect their health
Blacks often are less satisfied with their health care, perhaps because they feel "socially distant" from their doctors

Rural Health

Researchers examine rural long-term care

Health Care Costs and Financing

Medicare payment is related to use of breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy among elderly women with breast cancer
Researchers examine the impact of prescription medicine coverage and copayments on medication use
Clinical trial participation does not increase the cost of routine care

Health Insurance

Employers may be able to lower their costs for health insurance by offering more plans and making employees more price sensitive
Employees who are given health plan quality information are more likely to switch to high-quality plans
Consumers perceive quality differences across health systems and factor these differences into health plan choices
Employee characteristics affect the generosity of health plans and the likelihood of employers offering a choice of plans
Elderly people find new Medicare information materials useful in navigating the maze of health plan choices
Conference attendees examine employers' use of risk adjustment to contend with adverse selection from health plans

Dental Research

School-based dental sealant programs can improve the dental health of poor children at minimal cost
Medicaid-insured and minority children have poor access to dental care and more cavities than other youths
Consumption of sugared soda has not increased youngsters' cavities, perhaps due to increased fluoride use

Mental Health

Disparities between men and women in minor mental health problems may reflect differences in social roles

HIV/AIDS Research

Severe liver toxicity occurs with certain HIV medications, especially among people coinfected with HIV and hepatitis
Researchers examine treatment issues for HIV-infected women
HCSUS studies examine Pap screening followup for HIV-positive women and lifestyle changes following HIV diagnosis


New national survey details Americans' experiences with health care services
Expanded Web site will help primary care physicians diagnose smallpox, anthrax, and other bioterrorism-related infections
AHRQ announces availability of two new publications

Research Briefs

Current as of April 2002
AHRQ Publication No. 02-0021

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