January 29, 2010
AHRQ News and Numbers
Among the 36 percent of U.S. adults age 18 and older who needed to see a specialist in 2007, about 8 percent reported that getting to see one was a big problem. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, MEPS Statistical Brief #274: Variations in Perceived Need and Access to Specialist Care among Adults in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2007.]
- AHRQ Seeks Nominations for the Effective Health Care Stakeholder Group
- AHRQ and American College of Cardiology Collaborate on Study of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators
- Comparative Effectiveness Research Grant Awards
- AHRQ Seeks Nominations for Two Future Chairpersons of CERTs Steering Committee
- Task Force Recommendation on Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents
- New AHRQ Evidence Report on Tests for Exercise-Induced Asthma and Bronchoconstriction Is Available
- AHRQ in the Professional Literature
1. AHRQ Seeks Nominations for the Effective Health Care Stakeholder Group
AHRQ's Effective Health Care program is seeking nominations from interested organizations and individuals for members of the Stakeholder Group to support the work of comparative effectiveness, established [for consultations] pursuant to Section 1013 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. Individuals selected to the Stakeholder Group will serve a 2-year term, beginning the summer of 2010 and ending the summer of 2012. The deadline for receipt of nominations is February 8. Select to read the January 7 Federal Register notice.
2. AHRQ and American College of Cardiology Collaborate on Study of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators
A $3.5 million research project that will study the long-term benefits and risks of implantable cardioverter defibrillators in patients at risk of death from ventricular fibrillation will be supported by AHRQ and the American College of Cardiology. The project is being conducted in cooperation with the National Heart, Lung (NHLBI), and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The new 3½-year study will be conducted by members of the AHRQ-supported HMO Research Network, a consortium of 15 health care delivery systems that conduct research on various topics, including medical effectiveness and safety. The systems are also part of NHLBI's Cardiovascular Research Network. The results will also be helpful to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has covered cardioverter defibrillators for certain patients since 2005 and has required that certain Medicare patients receiving the devices be enrolled in a national registry. Select to read our press release.
3. Comparative Effectiveness Research Grant Awards
AHRQ has developed Web page that contains general information about ongoing AHRQ-funded comparative effectiveness research projects. The Web page will be updated as future research grants are awarded. Select to access the Web page on the Effective Health Care program Web site.
4. AHRQ Seeks Nominations for Two Future Chairpersons of CERTs Steering Committee
AHRQ's Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) program is seeking qualified individuals to serve as future chairs of the National Steering Committee. AHRQ seeks two future Chairs to serve sequentially as Chairs-Elect. The deadline for receipt of nominations has been extended to February 16.
5. Task Force Recommendation on Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents
Based on new evidence that children and adolescents can be effectively treated for obesity, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends that clinicians screen children ages 6 to 18 years for obesity and refer them to programs to improve their weight status. Comprehensive programs included 3 components:
- Counseling for weight loss or healthy diet
- Counseling for physical activity or a physical activity program.
- Behavioral management techniques such as goal setting and self monitoring.
Moderate- to high-intensity programs involve more than 25 hours of contact with the child and/or the family over a 6-month period. Families who seek treatment for obesity should look for comprehensive programs that address weight control through healthy food choices, physical activity and behavioral skill-building. The recommendation was released online on January 18 and will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics. Select to access the recommendation.
6. New AHRQ Evidence Report on Tests for Exercise-Induced Asthma and Bronchoconstriction Is Available
Exercise-induced asthma and bronchoconstriction affect millions of Americans who, after playing sports or exercising, experience shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, and even nausea. While exercise-induced asthma occurs in up to 90 percent of people with asthma, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction also strikes those without asthma. Both exercise-induced asthma and bronchoconstriction often go undiagnosed and untreated. A number of tests have been developed to detect exercise-induced asthma and bronchoconstriction; however, only six provided sufficient evidence to contribute to a formal evaluation. None of these alternatives was as accurate as the standard "exercise challenge test," which involves having the patient perform high-intensity exercise for six minutes, and tracking lung function following exercise to look for evidence of exercise-induced asthma and bronchoconstriction. The new report, Exercise-induced Brochoconstriction and Asthma, was prepared by the AHRQ's University of Alberta Evidence-based Practice Center in Edmonton. Select to access the report.
7. AHRQ in the Professional Literature
We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.
Harrison MI, Kimani J Building capacity for a transformation initiative: system redesign at Denver Health. Health Care Manage Rev 2009 Jan-Mar; 34(1):42-53. Select to access the abstract.
Lazarus R, Klompas M, Campion FX, et al. Electronic Support for Public Health: validated case finding and reporting for notifiable diseases using electronic medical data. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2009 Jan-Feb; 16(1):18-24. Select to access the abstract.
Neuman HB, Michelassi F, Turner JW, et al. Surrounded by quality metrics: what do surgeons think of ACS-NSQIP? Surgery 2009 Jan; 145(1):27-33. Select to access the abstract.
Prince JD, Akincigil A, Hoover DR, et al. Substance abuse and hospitalization for mood disorder among Medicaid beneficiaries. Am J Public Health 2009 Jan; 99(1):160-7. Select to access the abstract.
Glance LG, Osler TM, Mukamel DB, et al. Impact of statistical approaches for handling missing data on trauma center quality. Ann Surg 2009 Jan; 249(1):143-8. Select to access the abstract.
Bader JD, Perrin NA, Maupome G, et al. Exploring the contributions of components of caries risk assessment guidelines. Comm Dent Oral Epidemiol 2008 Aug; 36(4):357-62. Select to access the abstract.
Kuppermann M, Norton ME, Gates E, et al. Computerized Prenatal Genetic Testing Decision-Assisting Tool: randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 2009 Jan; 113(1):53-3. Select to access the abstract.
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Current as of January 2010
AHRQ Electronic Newsletter, January 29, 2010, Issue #286. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/enews/enews286.htm