EHC Program Inside Track Newsletter

Issue 19, November 2013

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

In this issue:

AHRQ Releases Third Interactive Decision Aid

Health care professionals who treat women with urinary incontinence can now share with patients the third Web-based decision aid offered by AHRQ’s Effective Health Care (EHC) Program. EHC Program decision aids are interactive resources that help patients understand the facts about common health conditions and think about what is important to them when talking to their health care team about treatment options.

Taking Control: Non-surgical Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence in Women (a decision aid)Taking Control: Non-surgical Treatment Options for Urinary Incontinence in Women is the newest decision aid on the EHC Program’s Web site. It includes videos that address patient questions such as how do I take control of urinary incontinence (UI), are there other women like me, what are Kegel exercises, and what is bladder training. There is also information on what causes urinary UI, the different types of UI, and other questions women can ask their health care providers. The full research report, Nonsurgical Treatments for Urinary Incontinence in Adult Women: Diagnosis and Comparative Effectiveness, is available.


AHRQ also offers decision aids to help patients explore treatment options for two additional common conditions:

 

Knowing Your Options: A Decision Aid for Men with Clinically Localized Prostate CancerProstate CancerKnowing Your Options: A Decision Aid for Men with Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer was designed to better prepare men with clinically localized prostate cancer to participate in decisionmaking with their doctor. The tool includes information about the location and function of the prostate gland, what it means to have localized prostate cancer, and the treatment options after being diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, including the option to choose not to begin treatment immediately.

Healthy Bones: A Decision Aid for Women After Menopause

OsteoporosisHealthy Bones: A Decision Aid for Women After Menopause contains easy-to-understand and important information about different medicines that can help protect your patients’ bones from breaking. This decision aid program was designed for women who have gone through menopause and may have osteoporosis, so they can have informed conversations with their health care team regarding available treatment options for keeping their bones healthy.

 

If you would like to learn when new decision aids are added to this page, join the email list.

You can access all decision aids here or you can print them out to leave in the clinic waiting room. If you want to refer patients to the Web site (http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/tools-and-resources/patient-decision-aids), they can save and print an information summary and checklist to bring to their next appointment. It can help you decide, together, which treatment option will work best.

 

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AHRQ and PCORI Partner on Uterine Fibroid Project

AHRQ and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) have issued a request for applications (RFA) for a research project on the effectiveness of different treatments for uterine fibroids. In a first-time partnership with AHRQ, PCORI will commit up to $20 million to develop a national registry of women who have been treated for uterine fibroids and to fund studies on the comparative effectiveness of medical and surgical therapies. In addition, this project will help to better understand patient preference in informing treatment decisions using data from the registry. The RFA calls for the development of a large, multi-center, practice-based registry which must include women from diverse backgrounds, including those who traditionally have been less involved in health research. Applications are due by December 16, 2013.

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Dr. Richard Kronick is New AHRQ Director

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has appointed Richard Kronick, Ph.D., as the new director of AHRQ following the departure of Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. Dr. Kronick joined the Department in January 2010 as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, overseeing the Office of Health Policy. In that role, he conducted and coordinated research on policies relating to public health; health care delivery; health insurance; and health care financing programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance Program, and private insurance coverage. His work, and that of the Office of Health Policy under his leadership, has been integral to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, his team has provided insight and information critical to the effort to improve the health of the Nation. 

Prior to joining HHS, Dr. Kronick conducted health policy research in academia and in the Federal and State government, serving in the role of director of policy and reimbursement for the Medicaid Division of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare, and most recently, as a professor and chief of the Division of Health Care Sciences in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

“AHRQ has important work ahead, and I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Kronick in this new role,” Secretary Sebelius said in a statement.

 

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More New, Free Effective Health Care Program Resources

New Evidence-Based Treatment Summaries for Patients and Clinicians

Treatment summaries help clinicians and their patients learn about the evidence on treatment options and compare their effectiveness, benefits, and risks.
 

Allergies and Asthma: Allergen-Specific Immunotherapy Options

New materials are available from AHRQ that evaluate research on allergen-specific immunotherapies. The resources explore the effectiveness and safety of these treatments for adults and children with nasal allergies and mild asthma, and give health care providers and patients the information they need to help make the best possible decisions. Resources include—

 

Undescended Testicles (Cryptorchidism): Assessing Evaluation and Treatment Options

New materials are available from AHRQ that focus on evaluation and treatment options for cryptorchidism or undescended testicles. The report reviews the effectiveness of imaging techniques for identifying and correctly locating testicles and hormone therapy and surgical options to reposition the undescended testicles into a normal position in the scrotum. These resources provide health care providers and parents with information to help make the best possible decisions. Resources include—


New Research Reviews Comparing Treatment Options

Heart Conditions: Antiplatelet and Anticoagulant Treatments for UA/NSTEMI Patients

According to the latest research review by AHRQ, in patients with unstable angina/non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (UA/NSTEMI) treated with an early invasive or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)-based strategy, precatheterization treatment with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors (GPIs) is associated with both lower rates of revascularization and higher rates of major bleeding compared with periprocedural GPI, but does not improve ischemic endpoints. For patients undergoing an initial conservative approach, the anticoagulant enoxaparin reduces ischemic events, with no difference in the rate of major bleeding, compared with unfractionated heparin at around 30 days. The addition of GPIs to unfractionated heparin reduced the rate of mortality up to 30 days, but increased minor bleeding rates. In UA/NSTEMI patients receiving postdischarge treatment, dual antiplatelet therapy reduces the rates of composite ischemic outcomes and nonfatal myocardial infarction compared with single antiplatelet therapy. Overall, uncertainty remains about the optimal dosing, timing, duration, and treatment combinations, and further research is needed. These findings and others can be found in the full review, Antiplatelet and Anticoagulant Treatments for Unstable Angina/Non-ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction.

 

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Current as of November 2013
Internet Citation: EHC Program Inside Track Newsletter: Issue 19, November 2013. November 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/insidetrack/2013/19/index.html