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Research Activities

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May 2003, No. 273


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Medical errors affect 2 to 3 percent of hospitalized children and are more common in those with special medical needs

Heart Disease

Both low- and high-risk patients fare better when they undergo cardiovascular procedures at high-volume hospitals
Heart attack patients who develop non-Q-wave vs. Q-wave infarctions after thrombolysis fare better in the short term and at 1 year
Studies focus on use of cardiac procedures and post-hospital rehab services among elderly heart attack patients

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

People who have more disability prior to hip replacement surgery have worse functioning and more pain after surgery
Researchers find little evidence to explain the enthusiasm for aggressive screening and treatment for prostate cancer

Women's Health

Reading a large volume of mammograms is only one factor influencing radiologists' accuracy
With outpatient breastfeeding support and a home visitor program, early postpartum discharge doesn't reduce breastfeeding
First trimester ultrasound identifies more cases of Down syndrome than second trimester maternal serum screening and is more cost effective

Children's Health

Better communication with parents of hospitalized children may be the best way to improve parental ratings of hospital care
Parents may not always want antibiotics for their child's illness, sometimes they may just want reassurance

Elderly/Long-term Care

Performing a geriatric assessment of elderly patients in the ER can reduce later nursing home admissions

Health Care Quality/Patient Safety

Quality of the primary care doctor-patient relationship has eroded, even for a doctor's long-time patients
Better access to quality outpatient care for sickle cell disease could reduce patients' heavy reliance on expensive ER care
Fear of lawsuits may make physicians reluctant to disclose medical errors to patients
Conference focuses on ways to improve safety of outpatient care

Health Care Costs and Financing

Capitated payments and gatekeeping practices have minor effects on referrals of managed care patients to specialists
Patient characteristics and insurance coverage affect their ratings of managed behavioral health care plans
Medicare plan quality information doesn't prompt people to switch from traditional to HMO plans or to choose low-cost HMOs

Special Populations

Most individuals hospitalized for gunshot wounds are young and poor, and more than one-fourth have no insurance
Patients with traumatic brain injury should be screened for alcohol problems that can interfere with neurologic recovery
Knowledge of non-Western health practices may help doctors avoid misdiagnoses and other problems in Asian-American patients

Agency News and Notes

AHRQ releases FY 2002 annual report on research programs and financial management
AHRQ releases new evidence reports on enhancing health care working conditions to improve patient safety and other topics


AHRQ and the National Council on Patient Information and Education publish new consumer guide on reducing medication errors

Research Briefs

Current as of May 2003
AHRQ Publication No. 03-0034

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


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