EHC Program Inside Track Newsletter

Issue 17, August 2013

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

In this issue:

Tools to Support Clinician, Patient Decisionmaking Released on Three New Topics

Publications that summarize researching findings on three new clinical topics – kidney stones, groin hernias, and depression – have been released by AHRQ’s Effective Health Care (EHC) Program. The evidence-based information tools, based on comparative effectiveness reviews (CERs), are designed to help consumers, clinicians, policymakers, and others make informed health care decisions. The EHC Program has developed approximately 100 plain language research summaries in English and Spanish that cover a wide variety of health topics and explain the benefits and risks of different treatments.

Images of 3 EHC research summary cover pages: Lowering the Chance of Getting Another Calcium Kidney Stone; Surgery for an Inguinal Hernia; Treatment Options When Your SSRI Antidepressant Is Not Working WellA summary of new publications:

  • Recurrent Kidney Stones, Preventive Medical Strategies: The full research review compares the effectiveness of dietary and pharmacological preventive treatments for kidney stones. The patient summary discusses the benefits and potential side effects of different treatments, while the clinician summary provides an overview of the available evidence on each treatment. There is also a CME/CE course for clinicians to receive free continuing education credits, and a slide set for clinicians to share the evidence with colleagues.
  • Surgical Options for Inguinal Hernias: The full research review compares surgical treatment options for inguinal, or groin, hernias. The CER products include a patient summary of treatment approaches, a clinician research summary for health care providers that compares outcomes of various open and laparoscopic procedures, as well as watchful waiting, in adult and pediatric patients. There is also CME/CE course offered for clinicians to receive free continuing education credits, as well as a slide set for clinicians.
  • Treatment for Depression After Unsatisfactory Response to SSRIs: The full research review summarizes evidence on the effectiveness of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) monotherapy and combination therapy to treat depression in patients who have not responded to initial SSRI treatment. The products include a summary for patients that provide details on the benefits and potential harms of available treatment strategies and a clinician research summary that outlines the clinical bottom line and strength of evidence assessment for clinicians to consider when choosing treatment options (accompanied by a CME/CE course and an educational slide set for clinicians).


The EHC Program also offers opportunities for input into upcoming research projects by encouraging comments on key questions and draft reports. Meanwhile, if you are engaged in educating clinicians, researchers, and other health professionals, please see the full EHC Program Slide Library for presentation resources (speaker notes, references, and key words to find slides on similar topics). The CME/CE activities are offered by different credit providers, each having unique requirements for earning a credit certificate or a certificate of participation.

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More New, Free Effective Health Care Program Resources

Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: Effective Treatment Options

According to a new AHRQ research review, for most treatments for seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) there was insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the comparative effectiveness or harms of treatment options for adults and adolescents over the age of 12, pregnant women, and children younger than 12 years of age. However, available research indicates that for the treatment of SAR nasal symptoms and eye symptoms, intranasal corticosteroid, nasal antihistamine, and combination intranasal corticosteroid plus nasal antihistamine were similarly effective. Montelukast was similarly effective to intranasal corticosteroid in the treatment of SAR nasal symptoms. Increased methodological rigor is needed in future SAR research, along with agreed-upon reporting standards for effectiveness and harms outcomes. These findings can be found in the research review Treatments for Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis.

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Page last reviewed August 2013
Internet Citation: EHC Program Inside Track Newsletter: Issue 17, August 2013. August 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/insidetrack/2013/17/index.html