Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner

Research Activities

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

April 2008, No. 332


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Modest health care quality gains outpaced by spending

Child/Adolescent Health

State spending on parks and recreation and required physical education classes are linked to youth activity
Children from lower income families are not as likely to visit a dentist after a care provider's referral
White children are about twice as likely to use stimulants as black and Hispanic children
Adolescents are willing to have chlamydial screening by pediatricians during urgent care visits
Concerns about SCHIP expansions crowding out private insurance are not borne out in New York
Maternal asthma is associated with lower birth weight

Patient/Physician Communication

Physicians and terminal patients need to communicate better with each other about end-of-life care options
The best way to communicate uncertainty to patients about the harms and benefits of treatments remains unidentified
Personality is linked to active and passive decisionmaking style
Physicians tend to be more patient-centered with more positive, satisfied, and involved patients

Men's Health

Despite lack of evidence of benefit, PSA testing for prostate cancer screening has increased dramatically
DNA time-out procedure may help reduce patient identification error among prostate needle core biopsy specimens

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Certain interventions have the potential to reduce costly and risky hospitalizations of the frail elderly
Self-rated health may not be the best way to identify mortality risks among less-educated, black older persons
Quality of care for geriatric-prevalent conditions is worse than general care among the hospitalized frail elderly
Conference on assisted living reveals its evolution, dearth of research, and quality of life for residents

Health Information Technology

Doctors override automated alerts on potential drug interactions
More work is needed to determine the impact of hospital information technology applications on patient outcomes

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Cost-effectiveness of primary care treatment of sinusitis depends on individual, societal, and payer's perspectives
Consultations on major surgeries bring higher costs and longer stays but not care improvements
Patients with unstable angina do not have better 1-year health status or rehospitalization outcomes than heart attack patients, despite better 2-year survival
Work-sponsored weight management programs offer losses for employees and gains for employers
Patients with depression who receive mental health treatment and are involved in therapeutic decisions are more satisfied with their care

Primary Care Research

Individuals will use Web-based data about physician characteristics and performance to choose a doctor
Poverty-related factors rather than frequency of primary care visits underlie racial disparities in preventive care

HIV/AIDS Research

Studies examine the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the South

Acute Care/Hospitalization

Patients with heart problems fare better at cardiac hospitals than general hospitals
Life challenges, not discharge problems, cause repeat hospitalizations

Agency News and Notes

Chest pain is a leading reason for hospital emergency department visits
More consumers are buying medicines by mail
Nearly one in three women have babies by C-section
Mental health woes remain one of the top reasons for doctor visits


Task Force recommends against screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease using spirometry
National Conference on Reducing Diagnostic Error in Medicine is May 31-June 1

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Subscribe to AHRQ's Patient Safety E-Newsletter
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ Publication No. 08-0036
Current as of April 2008

Internet Citation:

Research Activities Newsletter. April 2008, No. 332. AHRQ Publication No. 08-0036. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care