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AHRQ funds new projects, including a study of care for living organ donors

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently funded new research grants, small project grants, and conference grants. One of these is a 2-year project (AHRQ grant HS11472) aimed at improving the way organ transplant centers serve living organ donors. While most organ donations are derived from people who have died, certain organs or parts of organs can be transplanted from living donors. Living donation is the fastest-growing source of organs, especially kidneys, at a time when the need for organs far exceeds the available supply.

Building on their previous research, Rebecca P. Winsett, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Tennessee in Memphis will evaluate existing organizational and operational structures at transplant centers with high volumes of living donation. They also will interview living donors to determine their experiences with existing operations, and they will design models for care and postsurgical support for those who elect to become living donors.

A total of 22,827 organs were transplanted in the United States in 2000, an increase of 5.4 percent over 1999. This total includes 5,532 organs from living donors, an increase of 16.5 percent over 1999. There were 13,290 kidneys transplanted in 2000, and 5,227, or 40 percent, of these were from living donors. The waiting list for organs in the United States is nearly 80,000, including almost 50,000 patients awaiting kidney transplants.

The new AHRQ project, totaling $100,000, adds to the body of research supported by AHRQ on organ donation. Earlier findings from AHRQ have evaluated reasons why families and individuals choose for or against organ donation and interventions to help increase organ donation. Other projects funded recently by AHRQ include:

Measuring quality of care for homeless adolescents
Project director: B.J. Ensing, E.N.P.
Organization: University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS11414
Project period: 7/6/01-6/30/05
First year funding: $100,790

Minimizing antibiotic resistance in Colorado
Project director: Ralph Gonzales, M.D.
Organization: University of California, San Francisco, CA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS13001
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/05
First year funding: $654,096

Shared decisionmaking: Prostate cancer screening by couples
Project director: Robert Volk, Ph.D.
Organization: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10612
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/05
First year funding: $462,452

Small Project Grants

Access to Medicare hospice for nursing home residents
Project director: Pedro Gozalo, Ph.D.
Organization: Brown University, Providence, RI
Project number: AHRQ grant HS11457
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/02
Funding: $99,996

Hospital care for patients with work-related conditions
Project director: Allard Dembe, Sc.D.
Organization: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS11497
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/02
Funding: $99,962

Management of peripheral arterial disease
Project director: Vivian Ho, Ph.D.
Organization: University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Project number: AHRQ grant HS11501
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/02
Funding: $65,259

Status epilepticus outcomes in the United States
Project director: Edwin Trevathan, M.D.
Organization: Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Project number: AHRQ grant HS11453
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/02
Funding: $91,733

Conference Grants

Conference on guideline standards
Project director: Richard Shiffman, M.D.
Organization: Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10962
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/02
Funding: $49,624

Epistemology and ethics of quality improvement
Project director: Joanne Lynn, M.D.
Organization: RAND Health, Santa Monica, CA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10961
Project period: 7/1/01-6/30/02
Funding: $50,000

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