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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Research Activities

November 2008, No. 339


About Research Activities

Feature Story

AHRQ awards $3 million to help reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections

Patient Safety and Quality

Organizational style influences clinical departmental differences in dealing with patient safety
The rate of care quality improvement has slowed, but nurses are well-positioned to advocate for quality, equitable care

Child/Adolescent Health

Infant health determines parental satisfaction with neonatal intensive care
Behavioral modification programs help obese children manage their weight
Bronchiolitis-related outpatient and hospital visits have risen markedly among Medicaid-insured infants in Tennessee

Women's Health

Less receipt of effective treatment by elderly black women with ovarian cancer may underlie their poorer survival
Centers that offer screening mammograms only and have a breast specialist on site provide more accurate readings

Elderly/Long-term Care

Hospital stay duration and cost for the elderly with non-dementia psychiatric illnesses varies by care settings
Some U.S. nursing homes need more specific evacuation plans to better respond to natural or other disasters
New care tracking tool helps identify nursing home patients at risk for pressure ulcers
Changes in cost to patients reduce new use of antidepressants among the elderly, but have less impact on continued use

Disparities/Minority Health

Pediatricians show less implicit race bias than others
Minority children are half as likely as white children to receive specialized therapies

Outcomes/Effectiveness Research

Prostate removal is better than radiation or watchful waiting for elderly men with local/regional prostate cancer
Study of the benefit of prophylactic antibiotics prior to major surgery raises questions about pay for performance
Pancreatic surgery with islet cell autotransplant is safe and effective to treat the pain of chronic pancreatitis
Cirrhosis of the liver does not increase risk during surgical repair of umbilical hernias, unless the procedure is an emergency
Unplanned bowel resections during hernia operations lead to more complications and longer stays

Mental Health

Underserved blacks and Hispanics with depression often use complementary and alternative medicine for their symptoms
Screening for alcohol misuse among emergency department patients may uncover depression

Primary Care Research

Studies examine ways to improve delivery of colorectal cancer screening in primary care practice
Studies suggest that large-scale strategies may be needed to reduce overuse of antibiotics in U.S. communities

Pharmaceutical Research

Women are dispensed more drugs than men during their reproductive years
Stool cultures are rarely used in diarrhea cases

Health Care Costs and Financing

Quality partnerships yield advances in collaboration
Introduction of a multitiered formulary decreases antidepressant use

Public Health Preparedness

Most Federal health centers are not integrated in their community's emergency preparedness plans

Complementary/Alternative Medicine

Skeptical patients with arthritis and fibromyalgia are likely to use alternative medicine

Agency News and Notes

Patients' hospital bills jumped $70 billion in just one year
Modified insulin is most effective for controlling postmeal blood sugar levels
Hispanics are hospitalized at higher rates for potentially preventable hospitalizations than whites in both wealthy and poor communities
Hospitalizations for osteoarthritis are rising sharply
More U.S. children are getting government dental insurance


HHS issues interim guidance for Patient Safety Organizations
Task Force finds several methods equally effective for colorectal cancer screening
New Guide to Clinical Preventive Services 2008 is available
Two new resources can help consumers and clinicians prevent dangerous blood clots
New computer-based tools will help make best use of genetic breast cancer tests

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ Publication No. 09-RA002
Current as of November 2008

Internet Citation:

Research Activities Newsletter. November 2008, No. 339. AHRQ Publication No. 09-RA002. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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