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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Research Activities

October 2008, No. 338


About Research Activities

Feature Story

New tool helps hospitals evaluate disaster drills

Child/Adolescent Health

Study provides new evidence linking antidepressants and risk of suicide in depressed children and adolescents
Children with asthma have more prescriptions filled when their health plans notify their doctors after a serious episode
Use of corticosteroids along with antibiotics for children with bacterial meningitis may not affect outcomes
Guidelines for treating ear infections imply greater willingness to treat children older than 2 years with antibiotics
Head Start classrooms have lower-than-expected allergen concentrations

Disparities/Minority Health

Higher education among American Indian elders increases their likelihood of engaging in physical activity
Education by mail is as effective as in-class training for Korean-Americans with high blood pressure
Race influences participation of companions in cancer consultations

Patient Safety and Quality

Automated E-mail system helps identify adverse drug events
No single formula may work to improve quality of care through collaborations of community health centers
Better admissions data challenges the validity of some patient safety indicators
Faster new drug review is linked to more adverse drug reactions

Women's Health

Women sexually abused by partners have worse health than never abused women, even years after the abuse has stopped
Gender discrimination is linked to mammogram nonadherence in affluent women
Success rates for vaginal births after cesareans differ depending on whether the mother has certain conditions

Men's Health

Men don't accurately perceive their risk of stroke due to their high blood pressure
Task Force says men age 75 and older should not be screened for prostate cancer

Pharmaceutical Research

Study finds no differences in morphine's pain relief between women and men
The impact of drug formularies and other approaches to improve medication use in managed care needs more study
Patients receiving free pharmaceutical samples have higher out-of-pocket prescription costs

Health Care Costs and Financing

U.S. government spending on health care for seniors was five times that spent for children in 2002
Most rural hospitals need financial assistance in adopting health information systems
Patient perceptions of office visit copayments alter care-seeking behaviors
The gap between charges and payments for emergency department pediatric visits widened between 1996 and 2003
One-third of health center CEOs view health disparities collaboratives as negatively affecting centers' finances
Quality improvement endeavors often fail to cover their costs

Acute Care/Hospitalization

Fatigue effects during the night shift should be considered when designing work-rest schedules for clinicians
Hospitals use rhythm- and rate-control strategies for patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation equally
Suspected heart attack patients triaged to noncardiology and cardiology units fare equally well short-term

Chronic Disease

A standing order to perform finger-stick HbA1c tests on patients with diabetes reduces patient blood sugar levels
Almost 9 in 10 adults may be overweight or obese by 2030

Primary Care Research

Clinical distractions and care continuity affect antihypertensive treatment for patients with diabetes and hypertension
The doctor-patient relationship is strengthened when patients see themselves as similar to their physicians

HIV/AIDS Research

Pharmacy refills for antiretroviral drugs have advantages over T-cell counts for monitoring HIV disease progression
Inability to trace patients with HIV disease receiving HAART may lead to global overestimation of survival rates
Quality of hospital HIV care is similar regardless of physician HIV experience or hospitalist status
Medical clinic structure influences use of mental health and substance abuse care by persons with HIV disease

Agency News and Notes

Children are hospitalized less often for asthma but more have the disease
Health insurance premiums have more than doubled since 1996
Rare forms of meningitis more deadly than viral meningitis
Workers at small companies are less likely to kick in cash for health coverage


AHRQ requests planning ideas for new innovations research portfolio
2007 HCUP Statewide data is now available
Updated report with national statistics on hospital stays—HCUP Facts and Figures, 2006—is available

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ Publication No. 09-RA001
Current as of October 2008

Internet Citation:

Research Activities Newsletter. October 2008, No. 338. AHRQ Publication No. 09-RA001. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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