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April 2005, No. 296


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Study documents the prescribing of potentially harmful drugs to elderly outpatients prescribed multiple drugs

Pharmaceutical Research

Recent market withdrawal of Vioxx underscores the need to limit new drugs to those who will most benefit from them
Researchers compare medications for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation
Study fails to establish cost-effectiveness of using palivizumab to prevent RSV infection in preterm infants
Medication use boosted treatment rates for mental health and substance abuse disorders in 2001 compared with 1996
Many Medicaid-insured schizophrenia patients are prescribed multiple long-term antipsychotics
Messages about appropriate antibiotic use must be responsive to ethnic differences and literacy issues

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Patients who have preprocedural angina appear to derive the most benefit from coronary angioplasty
SPECT imaging with Tc-99m sestamibi can improve ED triage of diabetes patients with suspected cardiac ischemia
Prehypertension accounts for a substantial number of hospitalizations, nursing home admissions, and premature deaths
Postoperative functioning, age, obesity, and social support influence where patients go after total hip replacement
Pulmonary arterial hypertension markedly worsens a person's quality of life, but medication may help
Dialysis patients are more likely to accept a higher dose of dialysis than to switch dialysis mode to increase survival
Whooping cough can produce symptoms that are severe and prolonged

Women's Health

Most obstetricians are reluctant to grant women a first-time cesarean delivery without medical indications
Informal caregiver characteristics influence the hospitalization and discharge of elderly women
Sociodemographic factors affect receipt of preventive care services among women aged 65 and older

Disparities/Minority Health

Racial/ethnic disparities found in management of patients with high blood pressure
Osteoporosis often goes undiagnosed and untreated in black patients with fragility fractures

Children's Health

More frequent placements of foster children increase their reliance on emergency departments for outpatient care

Patient Safety/Quality

ICU patients are at risk for unintended and preventable adverse events involving airway management
Smart intravenous infusion systems have the potential to reduce serious medication errors in ICUs
Hospital readmission for venous thromboembolism among postoperative patients may signal quality of care problems
Patients of thoracic surgeons are less likely to die after lung cancer surgery than those of general surgeons, but volume counts
Pain management is often inadequate for elderly patients hospitalized for surgery
Algorithms can enhance communication between pharmacists and physicians about medications prescribed for elderly patients
Nursing home quality of care may suffer if budget shortfalls force States to freeze or reduce Medicaid rates
Researchers describe ways to improve health care experiences for people who are blind or have low vision

Behavioral Health

More patients at risk for cardiovascular disease should receive counseling about diet and exercise during outpatient visits
Leisure-time exercise, which helps control diabetes, is low among all diabetes patients, particularly black women
Several popular diets confer similar benefits, with best results from strict adherence

HIV/AIDS Research

Study finds no evidence that antiretroviral therapy causes serious liver disease in HIV patients coinfected with hepatitis C
HIV-infected patients with severe depression or bipolar disorder often do not adhere to their medication regimens
Improvement in HIV care within the VA health system has been substantial, but some disparities persist

Health Care Costs and Financing

Training in CPR and defibrillation should be reserved for those most likely to encounter out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims
Being organized as a group/staff HMO generally has a stronger impact on care access and quality than capitation
Costs of rehabilitative care can be reduced to reimbursement levels with little effect on patient function

Agency News and Notes

AHRQ director issues quality challenge at national summit and announces State-specific quality data
AHRQ launches new Web site to provide a single national source for patient safety findings and resources


AHRQ announces new vice-chair and members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
AHRQ announces recent recipients of dissertation research support

Research Briefs

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Current as of April 2005
AHRQ Publication No. 05-0076

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