AHRQ Reports: Massage, Other Sensory Interventions Improve Autism Behaviors; Evidence Lacking on Nutritional Supplements or Special Diets

Issue 569
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
May 30, 2017

AHRQ Stats: Hospital Stays for Older HIV Patients

Although hospital stays for patients diagnosed with HIV fell 49 percent from 2006 to 2013, stays among older HIV patients increased – by 27 percent for patients between 55 and 64, and by 57 percent for patients 65 and older. (Source: AHRQ, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief #206: HIV Hospital Stays in the United States, 2006–2013.)

Today's Headlines:

AHRQ Reports: Massage, Other Sensory Interventions Improve Autism Behaviors; Evidence Lacking on Nutritional Supplements or Special Diets

Sensory-focused interventions – such as massage, swinging and trampoline exercises and exposure to different textures – reduced sensory and motor impairments in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to an AHRQ-funded article in the May 26 issue of Pediatrics. A companion article, meanwhile, concluded that little evidence exists to support the use of nutritional supplements or gluten-free/casein-free diets to improve autistic behaviors in children. The articles highlighted findings in a pair of new AHRQ research reviews, Interventions Targeting Sensory Challenges in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder and Medical Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. The reports are research updates developed to provide clinicians and patients with information to make the best possible decisions about managing ASD behaviors. Both analyses noted that more research is needed over longer periods to establish additional evidence on the benefits and harms of ASD interventions. Access an AHRQ press release on the findings as well as an AHRQ Views blog post by Chief Medical Officer David Meyers, M.D.

New AHRQ Publications Summarize Evidence on the Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Clostridium difficile

New evidence-based publications from AHRQ can help clinicians and patients make informed decisions about the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Clostridium difficile infections (C. diff), a type of bacteria that infects the large intestine. Anyone can get C. diff, but risks may increase for people who have taken antibiotics in the past 30 days, have a weak immune system from an ongoing illness or have been in the hospital or a long-term care facility. Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of C. difficile: Current State of the Evidence is a publication for clinicians that summarizes findings of an AHRQ-funded research review and identifies the strength of evidence supporting diagnostic tests, treatment options and prevention techniques. A companion plain-language publication, Treating and Preventing C. difficile Infections, can help patients and caregivers talk about C. diff treatment options.

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNet) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s current issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Register Now for June 13 Webinar on CAHPS Cancer Survey

Registration is open for an AHRQ webinar on June 13 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on a new cancer survey added to the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®). The CAHPS Cancer Care Survey, which measures patients’ experiences with cancer treatment in outpatient and inpatient settings, was developed by the American Institutes for Research and the Mayo Clinic. It was funded by AHRQ, the National Cancer Institute and the California Health Care Foundation. Webinar speakers will discuss the survey’s purpose, how it was developed and how to administer the survey and analyze results.

Registration Open for TeamSTEPPS® Master Training Courses

Teams of three may register now to attend in-person AHRQ TeamSTEPPS® master training courses available through September. TeamSTEPPS training improves teamwork and communication among health care professionals to enhance patient safety. The two-day courses use a train-the-trainer approach. They are designed to educate participants on the fundamentals of TeamSTEPPS content, provide resources for training others and ensure that participants can effectively implement and coach behaviors. Access more information about available courses, guidelines and the application process.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Improving access and systems of care for evidence-based childhood obesity treatment: conference key findings and next steps. Wilfley DE, Staiano AE, Altman M, et al. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Jan;25(1):16-29. Epub 2016 Dec 7. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Psychiatric disorders and trends in resource use in pediatric hospitals. Zima BT, Rodean J, Hall M, et al. Pediatrics. 2016 Nov;138(5). Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Diabetic foot ulcer severity predicts mortality among veterans with type 2 diabetes. Brennan MB, Hess TM, Bartle B, et al. J Diabetes Complications. 2017 Mar;31(3):556-61. Epub 2016 Dec 10. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

SafeHOME: promoting safe transitions to the home. Broecker M, Ponto K, Tredinnick R, et al. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2016;220:51-4. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Hospital mortality in the United States following acute kidney injury. Brown JR, Rezaee ME, Marshall EJ, et al. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:4278579. Epub 2016 Jun 8. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Binge-eating disorder in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Brownley KA, Berkman ND, Peat CM, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Sep 20;165(6):409-20. Epub 2016 Jun 28. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Transforming evidence generation to support health and health care decisions. Califf RM, Robb MA, Bindman AB, et al. N Engl J Med. 2016 Dec 15;375(24):2395-400. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

GCK-MODY in the US National Monogenic Diabetes Registry: frequently misdiagnosed and unnecessarily treated. Carmody D, Naylor RN, Bell CD, et al. Acta Diabetol. 2016 Oct;53(5):703-8. Epub 2016 Apr 22. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed June 2017
Page originally created May 2017
Internet Citation: AHRQ Reports: Massage, Other Sensory Interventions Improve Autism Behaviors; Evidence Lacking on Nutritional Supplements or Special Diets. Content last reviewed June 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletter/e-newsletter/569.html