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Research Activities

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September 2003, No. 277


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Key symptoms can differentiate inhalation anthrax from flu

Clinical Decisionmaking

Researchers focus on management of asthma in children
Rapid MRI costs more but offers little benefit over x-ray for diagnosing the cause of low back pain
Blood pressure control can be attained in a substantial number of primary care patients who have diabetes and hypertension
AHRQ policy on the inclusion of priority populations in research commences October 1st
Behavioral counseling for people with diabetes can decrease unhealthy lifestyles that may lead to cardiovascular disease
Simple meal plans that emphasize healthy foods are effective in reducing blood sugar level among blacks with diabetes
Inappropriate use of carotid endarterectomy to prevent stroke has declined over the past few years
Computer-based telecolposcopy may offer superior diagnostic services to clinicians and patients in remote areas
Newer treatments for hepatitis C infection appear to be cost effective, but results vary widely across different groups

Pharmaceutical Research

Long-term use of antibiotics to treat acne can lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in patients' mouths
Misuse of an over-the-counter drug to treat urinary tract infection raises concern about reclassifying prescription drugs
Prescribing COX-2-selective NSAIDs over traditional NSAIDs is influenced by physician specialty and patient risk factors

Quality of Care/Patient Safety

Physician-led, low-key quality improvement efforts can improve care for patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery
Physician compliance with obstetric clinical pathways may protect against malpractice litigation
Quality improvement initiatives can improve health care for minorities
Study finds that overall use of DNR orders changed little after passage of the Patient Self-Determination Act
Factors that predict rehospitalization of home health care patients should be targeted by home health providers
Information technology is one key to improving patient safety
Organizational culture and leadership, as well as medical informatics, play important roles in quality improvement

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Hospital type and experience affect outcomes of children who undergo tracheotomy
Delaying the urge to push during second-stage labor offers no benefit for women who receive low-dose epidural analgesia
Nearly one-third of hip fracture patients are readmitted to the hospital within 6 months, usually for nonsurgical problems

Elderly Health/Long-term Care

Recommended medications are underused among elderly people with diabetes
Depression and anxiety affect a substantial number of elderly people living in the community
Researchers examine functional decline among the frail elderly
Unsteadiness and falls often lead to hip fracture and subsequent decline in the elderly

Health Care Access/Use

Heavy users of the ER are usually socioeconomically disadvantaged and have significant health problems
U.S. hospitals have become greatly overcrowded, resulting in overloaded ERs and diverted ambulances
Factors that impede access to care and patient satisfaction are explored in three recent studies
Availability of computerized health information does not appear to affect use of medical care

Health Care Costs and Financing

Researchers examine drug expenditures and drug formularies
Managed care plans rarely deny reimbursement for hospital care
Some States with high Medicaid use of home care may be able to shift some of these visits to Medicare
Hospitals that increase their number of registered nurses increase their operating costs but do not decrease profits
State and Federal health care financial policies can affect patient treatment and outcomes
Physicians are likely to remain influential in certain areas of health policy reform

HIV/AIDS Research

Generalist physicians experienced in HIV/AIDS care can provide care comparable to that of HIV/AIDS specialists

Agency News and Notes

AHRQ focuses on translating research findings into improved patient outcomes


AHRQ awards $2.1 million in grants to help clinicians promote health behaviors among their patients

Research Briefs

Current as of September 2003
AHRQ Publication No. 03-0046

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


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