Your browser doesn't support JavaScript. Please upgrade to a modern browser or enable JavaScript in your existing browser.
Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Consumer Information and Education

Audio Podcasts

AHRQ Podcast on Health Care Quality

Top of Page Top of Page

Fact Sheets

Aspirin: Preventing Heart Attacks
Common Uterine Conditions: Options for Treatment
Do You Smoke? Do You Want to Quit?
Five Steps to Safer Health Care
Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence
20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors
Understanding Your Body
Ways You Can Help Your Family Prevent Medical Errors!

Top of Page Top of Page

Health Care Choices

Be an Active Health Care Consumer
Improving Health Care Quality: A Guide for Patients and Families
Consumer Health Informatics and Patient Decisionmaking
Environmental Scan of Instruments to Inform Consumer Choice in Assisted Living Facilities
Expanding Patient-Centered Care To Empower Patients and Assist Providers
Guide to Health Care Quality: How to Know It When You See It
Having Surgery? What You Need to Know
Improving Consumer Choice
Navigating the Health Care System: Advice from Dr. Clancy
Next Steps After Your Diagnosis: Finding Information and Support
   Watch Video
Questions and Answers About Health Insurance: A Consumer Guide
Your Guide to Choosing Quality Health Care: Summary
Your Guide to Coumadin®/Warfarin Therapy
Your Guide to Preventing and Treating Blood ClotsNew!

Top of Page Top of Page

Put Prevention Into Practice

Men: Stay Healthy at Any Age: Checklist for Your Next Checkup
Men: Stay Healthy at 50+—Checklists for Your Health
Pocket Guide to Good Health for Adults
Pocket Guide to Good Health for Children
Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age: Checklist for Your Next Checkup
Women: Stay Healthy at 50+—Checklists for Your Health

Top of Page Top of Page

Quick Tips

Quick Tips—When Getting Medical Tests
Quick Tips—When Getting a Prescription
Quick Tips—When Planning for Surgery
Quick Tips—When Talking with You Doctor

Top of Page Top of Page

Speeches & Testimony

Date   Title
5/10/06 Arming Health Care Consumers: Testimony before Congress by Carolyn Clancy

Top of Page Top of Page

Research Findings

Agency Press Releases
Date   Title
9/22/08 Improved Makes Health Information Quicker and Easier to Use
9/15/08 Modified Insulin Most Effective for Controlling Post-Meal Blood Sugar Levels
9/15/08 AHRQ Releases Two New Resources to Help Consumers and Clinicians Prevent Dangerous Blood Clots


Research Activities, August 2008:
New Spanish-language consumer guide compares oral diabetes medications

Research Activities, July 2008:
AHRQ announces guide to help patients on Coumadin®/warfarin therapy
Book chapter provides strategies and tips for addressing health literacy
Only about 1 in 10 adult Americans have all the skills needed to manage their health

Research Activities, May 2008:
New pill card helps patients take medications on time

Research Activities, April 2008:
Personality is linked to active and passive decisionmaking style
Individuals will use Web-based data about physician characteristics and performance to choose a doctor

Research Activities, February 2008:
Pediatric outpatient medication errors are common and are often due to mistakes made at home

Research Activities, January 2008:
AHRQ releases toolkits to help providers and patients implement safer health care practices
Medicaid-insured parents could benefit from educational programs to promote more judicious use of antibiotics

Research Activities, December 2007:
Full disclosure of medical errors to patients is becoming more and more transparent

Research Activities, November 2007:
Local touchscreen computer kiosks can help parents in urban, low-income communities learn about their child's health
AHRQ launches a new series of advice columns

Research Activities, October 2007:
AHRQ releases a new guide to help consumers make health insurance decisions

Research Activities, April 2007:
New webliography identifies reliable prescription medication Web sites for consumers

Research Activities, March 2007:
AHRQ and the Ad Council encourage patients to ask questions and get more involved with their health care
Older adults' psychological and health characteristics influence their use and timing of online health information searches

Research Activities, January 2007:
Black patients tend to ask fewer questions of their doctors and receive less information than other patients

Research Activities, December 2006:
Direct-to-consumer drug advertising on television may have led to increased prescribing of Vioxx® and Celebrex®

Research Activities, November 2006:
Many men still confuse benign prostatic hyperplasia with prostate cancer, even after viewing an instructional videotape

Research Activities, September 2006:
Patients are willing to help prevent medical errors, but reluctant to take all the recommended actions

Research Activities, June 2006:
Communication between primary care patients and their doctors does not necessarily result in shared decisionmaking

Research Activities, April 2006
Doctor-patient communication is critical to how parents view the quality of end-of-life care for children with cancer

Research Activities, March 2006
Patient responses to medical errors depend on the timeliness and quality of the physician's communication about the event
Women need information about alternatives, risks, and benefits of hormone therapy for osteoporosis to make an informed decision
Better communication and coordination of care could reduce frustration experienced by patients with chronic diseases

Research Activities, February 2006:
Consumers are unlikely to engage in protective behaviors to prevent medical errors

Research Activities, November 2005:
Educating patients with asthma on avoiding allergens is suboptimal

Research Activities, August 2005:
Physicians welcome patients' participation in medical decisionmaking

Research Activities, July 2005:
Publicly reporting quality information may inadvertently reduce, rather than improve, care quality
Patient education may reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics by adults
Participation in a physically active lifestyle during mid-life helps to maintain high physical function in later years

Research Activities, June 2005:
More than 13 percent of primary care patients do not know why they are taking at least one of their prescription medications
Study reveals racial/ethnic and income-related disparities in use of Web-based health services
Publishing report cards about a surgeon's quality influences consumer selection of surgeons
Partnering with hospitalized patients to monitor medication use is a feasible strategy for reducing drug errors

Research Activities, May 2005:
Low literacy is associated with several adverse health outcomes
Use of an asthma kiosk in the emergency department can educate parents and improve clinician/patient communication
Many HIV-infected parents worry needlessly about transmitting HIV to their children

Research Activities, March 2005:
Family doctors and patients tend to agree on what constitutes competent patient communication

Research Activities, January 2005:
Many people still misunderstand "brain death" and its relation to organ donation

Research Activities, November 2004:
Better consumer education and marketing surveillance are needed for one over-the-counter drug used for urinary tract pain

Research Activities, October 2004:
AHRQ and its partners launch new tools to help combat childhood obesity

Research Activities, August 2004:
Trade-offs and individual preferences should be emphasized when advising patients about dialysis choices
Researchers examine decision aids for prostate cancer screening and patients' attitudes toward screening and treatment

Research Activities, June 2004:
Doctors can use proactive office systems and patient education to persuade more elderly patients to get flu shots

Research Activities, April 2004:
Problems in self-management of congestive heart failure may contribute to ER visits and poor prognosis
Clinicians and patients responded quickly to recent evidence of harms associated with hormone therapy

Research Activities, March 2004:
Understanding the implications of brain death for a patient's recovery may help families decide about donating organs

Research Activities, February 2004:
Better communication of disease-specific and general health information can improve diabetes self-care
Task Force working group encourages patient-provider partnership in making decisions about preventive care

Research Activities, January 2004:
Elderly, low-income black women need more education about the importance of breast cancer screening

Research Activities, December 2003:
Parental misconceptions about antibiotic use are widespread, but they may be modifiable by clinicians and the media

Research Activities, November 2003:
Celebrity spokespersons can have a substantial impact on cancer screening rates

Research Activities, September 2003:
Study finds that overall use of DNR orders changed little after passage of the Patient Self-Determination Act
Recommended medications are underused among elderly people with diabetes

Research Activities, June 2003:
Diabetes education programs can help patients manage their condition, especially if they are recently diagnosed
Educating older men and women about the dangers of hypertension could increase their blood pressure control

Top of Page Top of Page


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care