EHC Program Inside Track Newsletter

Issue 9, November 2012
EHC Inside Track is a newsletter highlighting important news and developments from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program.

In this issue:

Free Spanish “Videonovela” and Publications Available to Help Educate Diabetes Patients

Clinicians and health educators who want to help Hispanic patients properly manage their diabetes may now receive a free DVD “videonovela” that effectively dramatizes the importance of medication adherence.

The three-episode “videonovela,” titled Aprende a vivir (Learn to Live),is available for showing in patient care-settings and in outreach programs. The story reflects the reality of many Hispanics with type 2 diabetes who stop taking their medication due to unpleasant side effects or other reasons.

Aprende a vivir tells the story of Don Felipe, head of the Jiménez family, and his health problems caused by poor medication adherence, as well as by not following diet and exercise instructions. To view the video before ordering, visit:

The 15-minute DVD also comes with five sample Spanish-language patient education pamphlets that compare medications for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol, explain home blood pressure monitoring, and provide practical tips for using medicines safely. The pamphlets are in the “Additional Resources” section of the Aprende a vivir Web page.

AHRQ’s growing library of free publications on diabetes and other conditions can help patients learn more about managing their health needs. These materials in English and Spanish can also help health care professionals work with their patients to explore and compare their treatment options.

If interested in ordering free copies for your clinic or health program, please email with the number of DVDs and pamphlets you want and the shipping address (no P.O. boxes).

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More New, Free Effective Health Care Program Resources

New Evidence-Based Treatment Summaries for Patients and Clinicians
Treatment summaries help patients and clinicians learn about treatment options and compare their effectiveness, benefits, and risks. (To order free print copies, call 1-800-358-9295 and use reference code C-05.)

Antibiotic Therapy: Using Procalcitonin to Guide Recommendations

Procalcitrin-Guided Antibiotic Therapy clinician research summary now available. New summary materials for clinicians outline key findings and clinical implications from a recent research review looking at the effectiveness of procalcitonin to inform discontinuation of antibiotic therapy. The review found that using procalcitonin to inform discontinuation of antibiotic therapy was associated with reductions in antibiotic usage without increasing morbidity in critically ill patients. Resources include—


 Coronary Artery Disease: Diagnosis in Women

Noninvasive Technologies for Diagnosing Cornary Artery Disease in Women: Comparative Effectiveness clinician research summary now available. New publications are available from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program that summarize scientific evidence on the effectiveness of noninvasive tests at diagnosing coronary artery disease in women. Evidence suggests noninvasive tests (NIT) that produce images of how well the heart is functioning, such as echocardiography (ECHO) and single proton emission computed tomography (SPECT), more accurately diagnose CAD in women with symptoms suspicious of CAD than electrocardiography (ECG) which monitors heartbeats to detect restricted blood flow. However, less data is available for some of the newest techniques, making those estimates less precise. Resources include—

 Chronic Kidney Disease: Treatments

Medicines for Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease patient treatment summary now available.AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program has released new resources that summarize the potential benefits and harms of treatment options for early stage chronic kidney disease (CKD). Research found that in select CKD patients, treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) reduce the risk of developing end-stage CKD. Also, in select patients, ACEIs and statins can reduce the risk of death. Resources include—


Spanish-Language Patient ResourcesTwo new Spanish-language consumer summaries now available: Medicines for Treating Depression and Treatment Options for ADHD in Children and Teens.

New Research Reviews Comparing Treatment Options
Each of these reviews compares available evidence from numerous research studies. Companion summary resources for patients and clinicians will be available for each of these reviews in the future.

Dementia: Nursing Homes and Other Residential Long-Term Care Settings
More than 5 million Americans—as many as one in every eight individuals age 65 years or older—have dementia. According to a new research review from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program, pleasant sensory stimulation reduces agitation for people with dementia. While more research is necessary, some evidence suggests that protocols for individualized care, such as for showering and bathing, can reduce pain, discomfort, agitation, and aggression. Also, functional skill training can improve physical function in basic activities of daily living. Overall, outcomes do not differ between nursing homes and residential care/assisted living settings, except for people needing medical care, who may benefit more from a nursing home setting. Read the full research review here: Comparison of Characteristics of Nursing Homes and Other Residential Long-Term Care Settings for People With Dementia.

Iron Deficiency Anemia: Assessing and Managing for Chronic Kidney Disease Patients 
According to a new review, more research is needed to show what types of biomarker testing are most effective for managing iron deficiency. The review found that no single laboratory test looking at biomarkers of iron status is adequate to determine iron deficiency, and more evidence is needed to determine the comparative accuracy of various biomarker combinations for diagnosing iron deficiency. Read the full research review here: Biomarkers for Assessing and Managing Iron Deficiency Anemia in Late Stage Chronic Kidney Disease.

Pregnancy: Reducing C-Section Births
Cesarean sections (c-sections) currently account for one out of every three pregnancies in the United States. According to recent research, there may be strategies that can be used during labor to help reduce the chances of having a cesarean section, such as drugs to promote cervical softening, active management of labor, doula support (labor coach support), fetal assessment and amnioinfusion strategies. Read the full research review here: Strategies to Reduce Cesarean Birth in Low-risk Women.

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Page last reviewed September 2012
Internet Citation: EHC Program Inside Track Newsletter. Content last reviewed September 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.