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AHRQ awards new research projects

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has funded nine new research projects in five areas: patient decisionmaking, child health, elderly care, women's health, and physician practice style. The funding for these new projects is anticipated to total $11.4 million over a 2- to 4-year period. The Agency also has funded a number of other research, dissertation, and conference grants. The newly funded projects are:

Patient Decisionmaking

Measuring interpersonal processes in diverse patients. Anita Stewart, M.D., principal investigator; University of California, San Francisco. $798,184; 7/1/00-6/30/03, grant HS10599.

The researchers will examine the interpersonal processes of care—such as communication and shared decisionmaking—that occur between patients and clinicians and assess the effects of these interpersonal processes on the disparities in health and health care that exist across racial and ethnic groups.

Information interpretation in patient decision support. Margaret M. Holmes-Rovner, Ph.D., principal investigator; Michigan State University, East Lansing. $845,625; 8/1/00-7/31/02, grant HS10608.

This study will examine the types of information commonly used by clinicians to communicate with patients about the risks and benefits of treatment, such as patient interviews, graphs and diagrams, and statistical information. The researchers will focus on comprehension and interpretation of health information by people of different races with different levels of education.

A patient activation approach to improving diabetes care. Russell E. Glasgow, Ph.D., principal investigator; AMC Cancer Research Center, Denver, CO. $3,393,759; 4/5/00-3/31/04, grant HS10123.

This randomized controlled trial will address diabetes self-management and improved practice adherence to recommended guidelines for adult patients with type 2 diabetes. It will involve nearly 1,000 patients drawn from 32 diverse primary care practices in Colorado and neighboring States.

Child Health

Otitis media: Parent education to avoid antibiotic use. David P. McCormick, M.D., principal investigator; University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. $1,149,167; 3/1/00-2/28/03, grant HS10613.

The goal of this project is to establish the safety, efficacy, cost, and acceptability of withholding antibiotics from children with mild acute otitis media and substituting nonantibiotic, symptomatic treatment, parent education, and careful followup of children with this common condition.

Regionalization, market forces, and neonatal mortality. Ciaran S. Phibbs, Ph.D., principal investigator; Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Menlo Park, CA. $952,262 (AHRQ's contribution totals $380,905); 4/1/00-3/31/04, grant HD36914.

This study of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) will use data from California to assess neonatal mortality differences over time, examine the relationship between total NICU volume and the volume of newborns in specific high-risk groups, look at the relationship between type of insurance coverage and neonatal mortality over time, and examine how competition and the increased use of market forces to control costs have affected the diffusion of NICUs into community hospitals. Co-funded by AHRQ and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Elderly Care

Benefits of regionalizing surgery for Medicare patients. John D. Birkmeyer, M.D., principal investigator; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. $831,288; 4/1/00-3/31/03, grant HS10141.

The researchers will use Medicare hospital discharge data for patients who had any of 10 specified high-risk procedures to investigate the effects on mortality of shifting care from low-volume (high-risk) to high-volume (low-risk) hospitals.

Assisted living and health system use. Charles D. Phillips, Ph.D., principal investigator; Myers Research Institute, Beachwood, OH. $427,820; 6/1/00-5/31/02, grant HS10606.

This project will examine how the characteristics of assisted living facilities affect the ways in which residents interact with the health and long-term care systems, specifically their use of Medicare-covered health services and transitions to other care settings.

Women's Health

Evaluation of postnatal and postpartum care programs. Jutta Joesch, Ph.D., principal investigator; Battelle Memorial Institute, Seattle, WA. $764,683; 3/1/00-11/30/01, grant HS10138.

The goals of this study are to examine new mothers' use of health services after hospital discharge—including factors that influence their decisions about use—and determine the impact of medical care use patterns on health status and breastfeeding.

Physician Practice Style

Managed care, financial incentives, and physician practice. Carol Simon, Ph.D., principal investigator; Boston University School of Public Health. $2,289,135; 3/1/00-2/28/03, grant HS10596.

The researchers will examine how physician behavior is affected by financial and nonfinancial incentives, practice characteristics and competitive environment, and patient factors, as well as physician awareness of incentives put in place by managed care organizations.

Other Research Grants

Biofeedback and urinary incontinence in older women
Project director: Elizabeth Dugan, Ph.D.
Organization: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10663
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/01
Funding: $66,016

Care management by a nurse practitioner/hospitalist team
Project director: Marie J. Cowan, Ph.D.
Organization: University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10734
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/03
First year funding: $734,780

Measurement of women's satisfaction with primary care
Project director: Carol S. Weisman, Ph.D.
Organization: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10237
Project period: 7/1/00-12/3/01
First year funding: $551,588

Measuring interpersonal processes in diverse patients
Project director: Anita Stewart, M.D., Ph.D.
Organization: University of California, San Francisco, CA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10599
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/03
First year funding: $304,673

UAB CERT on Muscoloskeletal Disorders
Project director: Kenneth G. Saag, M.D.
Organization: University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10389
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/03
First year funding: $265,441

Dissertation Grants

Analysis of acquisitions by medical device manufacturers
Project director: Robert A. De Graaff, B.S.
Organization: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10800
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/01
Funding: $24,904

Beneficiary use of quality reports for Medicare plans
Project director: Jennifer D. Uhrig
Organization: Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10797
Project period: 4/15/00-3/14/01
Funding: $32,268

Changing markets and hospitals
Project director: Alison Evans-Cuellar, M.B.A.
Organization: University of California, Berkeley, CA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10760
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $17,770

Effect of formal home care services on caregiver burden
Project director: Andrea Weiner, B.A.
Organization: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10794
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $32,129

Making care decisions for cognitively impaired parents
Project director: Katharine C. Cook, M.S.
Organization: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10762
Project period: 7/1/00-8/31/01
Funding: $29,676

Measuring patient-perceived nursing care quality
Project director: Chyi-Kong Chang, M.S.N.
Organization: University of Illinois, Chicago, IL
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10843
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $31,612

Measuring quality of life during treatment for sleep apnea
Project director: Jeannette Breugelmans, M.S.
Organization: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10786
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $32,241

Patient outcomes related to discharge planning collaboration
Project director: William Corser, M.S.N.
Organization: University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10792
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $32,400

Physician cesarean rate and risk-adjusted birth outcomes
Project director: Tong Li, M.S.
Organization: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10795
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $30,942

Processes predictive of CABG complications
Project director: Maureen O'Brien, M.S.
Organization: University of Colorado, Denver, CO
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10839
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $32,400

Racism, racial identity, and blood pressure
Project director: Lucie Ferguson, M.P.H.
Organization: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10796
Project period: 6/15/00-6/14/01
Funding: $32,210

Conference Grants

Continence for women: State of the science conference
Project director: Karen J. Kelly Thomas, Ph.D.
Organization: Association for Women's Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses, Washington, DC
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10107
Project period: 6/1/00-5/31/01
Funding: $19,914

Developing a Latino health agenda for 2010
Project director: Hector G. Balcazar, Ph.D.
Organization: University of North Texas, Fort Worth, TX
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10079
Project period: 5/16/00-9/29/00
Funding: $19,200

Evidence-based health care workshop
Project director: Phoebe Barton, Ph.D.
Organization: University of Colorado, Denver, CO
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10102
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/01
Funding: $24,885

Methods to improve data on PPO performance
Project director: Lisa Greenberg, M.P.H.
Organization: American Accreditation Healthcare Commission/URAC, Washington, DC
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10105
Project period: 7/1/00-6/30/01
Funding: $50,000

Social marketing tools for improving health programs
Project director: Karen Denard Goldman, Ph.D.
Organization: Lehman College/City University of New York, Bronx, NY
Project number: AHRQ grant HS10104
Project period: 6/1/00-5/31/01
Funding: $35,501

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