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Research Activities

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June 2008, No. 334


About Research Activities

Feature Story

AHRQ and the Ad Council encourage men to take preventive steps in their health care

Patient Safety and Quality

When financially vulnerable rural hospitals become critical access hospitals, patient safety improves in several areas
Medical and surgical intensive care unit patients suffer from similar types of safety problems and related harm
AHRQ's patient safety indicators may be useful for comparing quality of care across delivery systems
Quality partnerships yield advances in collaboration
Study shows value and limitations of voluntary error reporting systems

Child/Adolescent Health

Pediatric autopsies shed more light on cause of death in more than half of cases
Smoking in the home leads to more emergency visits and hospitalizations for lung problems among young children
Community-wide interventions prove modestly successful in reducing antibiotic use among Medicaid-insured children

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Several factors can quickly identify mortality risk among frail elderly persons living in the community
Use of dementia treatments is similar in community and long-term care settings

Chronic Disease

Patient factors, not physician or clinic factors, account for most of the variance in blood sugar levels among adults with diabetes
Severe memory impairment substantially reduces employability of persons with systemic lupus erythematosus

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Chest pain 6 months after a heart attack is linked to patient dissatisfaction
Minor complications, common after carotid endarterectomy, are associated with higher postoperative risk of death and stroke

Clinical Decisionmaking

Radiologists vary in how accurately they interpret diagnostic mammograms
Clinical practice guidelines in musculoskeletal disorders are often based on expert opinion

Primary Care Research

Antidepressants and therapy may be cost-effective for patients with medically unexplained symptoms
Primary care practices can perform very well in several quality areas

Mental Health

Telepsychiatrists and in-person therapists deliver similar therapy to veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder among youth skyrockets
Serious mood disorders may be underdiagnosed or undertreated among impoverished blacks

Pharmaceutical Research

More studies need to be done on potential risk of incident heart failure among certain patients taking TNF-alpha antagonists
FDA warnings appear to lead to appropriate prescriber action

End-of-Life Care

Living wills should be updated, since preferences for life-prolonging treatments change when health status changes

Health Care Costs and Financing

Many cost-of-illness studies do not include all costs of a particular injury or illness, and may be misleading
A collaborative approach to diabetes care in community health centers can cost-effectively improve that care

Acute Care/Hospitalization

Sending high-risk heart attack patients to certain hospitals reduces deaths, minimizes hospital volume shifts
Use of quality improvement strategies by home care agencies may reduce hospitalizations of home patients

Agency News and Notes

Children from low-income communities are five times more likely to have untreated cavities
More than 200 abused children under age 5 died in U.S. hospitals in 2005
Potentially deadly infection doubled among hospital patients over last 5 years
Premiums rise 18 percent for nonemployer health insurance


AHRQ releases 2006 State data from HCUP
Updated releases of HCUP Comorbidity Software and Clinical Classifications Software Updates are available
AHRQ Web resource features 100 examples of health care innovations and tools

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ Publication No. 08-0056
Current as of June 2008

Internet Citation:

Research Activities Newsletter. June 2008, No. 334. AHRQ Publication No. 08-0056. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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


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