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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
Results1 to 25 of 931 Research Studies Displayed
Kuijer A, Dominici LS, Rosenberg SM
Arm morbidity after local therapy for young breast cancer patients.
This study assessed patient-reported arm morbidity in the Young Women's Breast Cancer Study (YWS). Participants were over 1300 women with breast cancer diagnosed at age 40 or younger and who were enrolled in the YWS. Findings showed that high rates of self-reported arm morbidity in young breast cancer survivors were reported, particularly in patients receiving axillary lymph node dissection and post-mastectomy radiation therapy. Recommendations included attention to the risks and benefits of differing local therapy strategies for axillary lymph node dissection and post-mastectomy radiation therapy patients.
Citation: Kuijer A, Dominici LS, Rosenberg SM . Arm morbidity after local therapy for young breast cancer patients. Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Oct;28(11):6071-82. doi: 10.1245/s10434-021-09947-3..
Keywords: Cancer: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Women, Surgery
Cardell CF, Knapp L, Cohen ME
Successful implementation of enhanced recovery in elective colorectal surgery is variable and dependent on the local environment.
This study looked at the results of a national colorectal enhanced recovery program (ERP) to improve patient outcomes. A total of 207 hospitals participated between 2017 and 2020. Quantitative (patient-level process and outcome) and qualitative (survey and structured interviews with hospital teams) data were collected and analyzed. Results shows that 62 hospitals were characterized as High Performance, and 52 as High Improvement. High Performance hospitals were larger with more annual colorectal surgeries. Fewer barriers to staff-buy-in and competing priorities, and more experience with standardized perioperative care were also characteristics of High Performance hospitals. High Improvement hospitals had lower baseline process measure (PM) adherence and less experience with perioperative care but had positive trends in annual patient outcomes such as annual morbidity, readmission, and prolonged length of stay compared to Low Improvement Hospitals.
Citation: Cardell CF, Knapp L, Cohen ME . Successful implementation of enhanced recovery in elective colorectal surgery is variable and dependent on the local environment. Ann Surg 2021 Oct 1;274(4):605-12. doi: 10.1097/sla.0000000000005069..
Keywords: Surgery, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care, Outcomes, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Provider Performance
Dominici L, Hu J, Zheng Y
Association of local therapy with quality-of-life outcomes in young women with breast cancer.
Researchers examined the association of surgery with longer-term satisfaction and quality of life (QOL) in young breast cancer survivors. Participants were women 40 years or older who enrolled in the Young Women's Breast Cancer Study. The results suggested that local therapy in young breast cancer survivors is persistently associated with poorer scores in multiple QOL domains, particularly among those treated with mastectomy and radiotherapy, irrespective of breast reconstruction. Socioeconomic stressors also appear to play a role.
Citation: Dominici L, Hu J, Zheng Y . Association of local therapy with quality-of-life outcomes in young women with breast cancer. JAMA Surg 2021 Oct;156(10):e213758. 2021. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2021.3758..
Keywords: Cancer: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Quality of Life, Women, Surgery
Tignanelli CJ, Bramante CT, Dutta NT
Metabolic surgery may protect against admission for COVID-19 in persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) disease causes significant morbidity and mortality through increased inflammation and thrombosis. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are states of chronic inflammation and indicate advanced metabolic disease. The purpose of this observational study was to characterize the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 in patients with NAFLD/NASH and evaluate the mitigating effect of various metabolic treatments.
Citation: Tignanelli CJ, Bramante CT, Dutta NT . Metabolic surgery may protect against admission for COVID-19 in persons with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Surg Obes Relat Dis 2021 Oct;17(10):1780-86. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2021.05.029..
Keywords: COVID-19, Surgery, Obesity: Weight Management, Obesity
Whitebird RR, Solberg LI
What's important: postoperative care planning. recognizing the central role of pets in many patients' lives.
Pets are important in many of our lives, and so they are important during the recovery period following events like hip or knee surgery. This study was born from a reflection on the question of pet ownership as the investigators studied outcomes that patients desired from orthopaedic surgery and factors in their lives that they identified as important to their aftercare planning.
Citation: Whitebird RR, Solberg LI . What's important: postoperative care planning. recognizing the central role of pets in many patients' lives. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2021 Sep 1;103(17):1663-64. doi: 10.2106/jbjs.21.00099..
Keywords: Surgery, Orthopedics
Bucher BT, Yang M, Arndorfer J
Changes in the accuracy of administrative data for the detection of surgical site infections.
The authors performed a retrospective analysis of the changes in accuracy of International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification (ICD-CM) diagnosis codes for colectomy and hysterectomy surgical site infection surveillance. They found no significant change in the accuracy of these codes following the transition from ICD-CM ninth edition to tenth edition codes.
Citation: Bucher BT, Yang M, Arndorfer J . Changes in the accuracy of administrative data for the detection of surgical site infections. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2021 Sep;42(9):1128-30. doi: 10.1017/ice.2020.1346..
Keywords: Surgery, Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), Diagnosis
Garsa A, Jang JK, Baxi S
Radiation therapy for brain metastases: a systematic review.
This systematic review synthesizes the available evidence on radiation therapy for brain metastases. A literature search was conducted using the major medical databases and included randomized controlled trials and large observational studies which evaluated whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) alone or in combination as initial or postoperative treatment, with or without systemic therapy for adults with brain metastases due to lung cancer, breast cancer, or melanoma. No statistically significant difference in overall survival was found with a combination of SRS plus WBRT compared with SRS alone or WBRT alone. Radiation therapy after surgery did not improve overall survival compared with surgery alone. WBRT plus systemic therapy was associated with increased risks for vomiting compared with WBRT alone. There was not enough data on patient-relevant outcomes such as quality of life, functional status, and cognitive effects.
Citation: Garsa A, Jang JK, Baxi S . Radiation therapy for brain metastases: a systematic review. Pract Radiat Oncol 2021 Sep-Oct;11(5):354-65. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2021.04.002..
Keywords: Cancer, Surgery, Treatments, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, Evidence-Based Practice
Greenberg JK, Olsen MA, Poe J
Administrative data are unreliable for ranking hospital performance based on serious complications after spine fusion.
The authors evaluated the extent to which a metric of serious complications determined from administrative data can reliably profile hospital performance in spine fusion surgery. They found that a metric of serious complications was unreliable for benchmarking cervical fusion outcomes and only modestly reliable for thoracolumbar fusion. They concluded that, when assessed using administrative datasets, these measures appeared to be inappropriate for high-stakes applications, such as public reporting or pay-for-performance.
AHRQ-funded; HS027075; HS019455.
Citation: Greenberg JK, Olsen MA, Poe J . Administrative data are unreliable for ranking hospital performance based on serious complications after spine fusion. Spine 2021 Sep 1;46(17):1181-90. doi: 10.1097/brs.0000000000004017..
Keywords: Surgery, Provider Performance, Hospitals, Adverse Events, Back Health and Pain
Kim C, Colborn KL, van Buuren S
Neighbors-based prediction of physical function after total knee arthroplasty.
The purpose of this study was to develop and test personalized predictions for functional recovery after Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) surgery, using a novel neighbors-based prediction approach. Findings showed that predictions were well-calibrated in out-of-sample testing. These predictions have the potential to inform care decisions both prior to and following TKA surgery.
AHRQ-funded; HS025692; HS024316.
Citation: Kim C, Colborn KL, van Buuren S . Neighbors-based prediction of physical function after total knee arthroplasty. Sci Rep 2021 Aug 18;11(1):16719. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-94838-6..
Keywords: Orthopedics, Surgery, Arthritis
Yuce TK, Holmstrom A, Soper NJ
Complications and readmissions associated with first assistant training level following elective bariatric surgery.
Little is known regarding the variation in training level and potential clinical impact of the first assistant in bariatric surgery. In this study, the investigators described the postoperative 30-day complications and readmissions following elective bariatric procedures by training level of the first assistant. The investigators concluded that variation in training level of the first assist during bariatric surgery had no influence on DSM or readmissions.
Citation: Yuce TK, Holmstrom A, Soper NJ . Complications and readmissions associated with first assistant training level following elective bariatric surgery. J Gastrointest Surg 2021 Aug;25(8):1948-54. doi: 10.1007/s11605-020-04787-0..
Keywords: Obesity: Weight Management, Obesity, Surgery, Hospital Readmissions, Adverse Events
Byrnes ME, Engler ta, Greenberg CC
Coaching as a mechanism to challenge surgical professional identities.
Investigators reported on exit interviews of surgeons who participated in a coaching program and demonstrated how their narratives challenge the surgical "personality" and forge an evolving and more open professional surgical identity. They found that participation in a coaching program challenged how surgeons thought of themselves in relationship to social and peer expectations. Further, their results indicated that surgeons do feel peer and social pressures related to identity but are much more complex and nuanced than has been previously discussed.
Citation: Byrnes ME, Engler ta, Greenberg CC . Coaching as a mechanism to challenge surgical professional identities. Ann Surg 2021 Aug 1;274(2):319-23. doi: 10.1097/sla.0000000000003707..
Keywords: Surgery, Education: Continuing Medical Education
Howard R, Johnson E, Berlin NL
Hospital and surgeon variation in 30-day complication rates after ventral hernia repair.
Researchers analyzed variability in 30-day complication rates and identified specific complications that contributed to this variability after ventral hernia repair. They found that, after adjusting for a number of patient-specific clinical variables, there was significant variation in 30-day complication rates after ventral hernia repair, representing a significant opportunity to improve patient outcomes.
Citation: Howard R, Johnson E, Berlin NL . Hospital and surgeon variation in 30-day complication rates after ventral hernia repair. Am J Surg 2021 Aug;222(2):417-23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.12.021..
Keywords: Surgery, Adverse Events, Outcomes, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
Johnson CL, Schwartz H, Greenberg A
Patient perceptions on barriers and facilitators to accessing low-acuity surgery during COVID-19 pandemic.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of low-acuity surgical procedures in an effort to conserve resources and ensure patient safety. This study aimed to characterize patient-reported concerns about undergoing surgical procedures during the pandemic. The investigators concluded that eliciting patients' perspectives, adapting processes to address potential barriers, and effectively educating patients about institutional measures to minimize in-hospital transmission of COVID-19 should be integrated into surgical care.
Citation: Johnson CL, Schwartz H, Greenberg A . Patient perceptions on barriers and facilitators to accessing low-acuity surgery during COVID-19 pandemic. J Surg Res 2021 Aug;264:30-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.01.028..
Keywords: COVID-19, Surgery, Access to Care, Patient Experience, Public Health
Delaney LD, Kattapuram M, Haidar JA
The impact of surgeon adherence to preoperative optimization of hernia repairs.
This study looked at the ways that surgeon-level adherence to preoperative optimization impacts postoperative outcomes. A cohort of patients receiving hernia repair surgery were studied using data from the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative from 2014 to 2018. Adherence to preoperative optimization was defined as operating on patients who were nontobacco users with a body mass index of >18.5 kg/m2 and <40 kg/m2. Risk- and reliability-adjusted adherence rates were used to divide surgeons into tertiles. Across 70 Michigan hospitals, 15,016 patients underwent ventral and incisional hernia repair, cared for by 454 surgeons. Preoperative optimization rates ranged from 51% to 76%. Surgeons in the lowest tertile had higher rates of emergency department visits and serious complications versus any complication than middle and high optimization tertiles.
Citation: Delaney LD, Kattapuram M, Haidar JA . The impact of surgeon adherence to preoperative optimization of hernia repairs. J Surg Res 2021 Aug;264:8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2021.01.044..
Keywords: Surgery, Provider: Physician, Provider, Outcomes
Joseph A, Neyens D, Mihandoust S
Impact of surgical table orientation on flow disruptions and movement patterns during pediatric outpatient surgeries.
This quantitative observational study observed the impacts of surgical table orientation on flow disruptions (FDs), the number of contacts between team members, and the distance traveled. Findings showed that the orientation of the surgical table significantly influenced staff workflow and movement in the operating room, with an angled surgical table orientation being the least disruptive to surgical work. The anesthesia provider, scrub nurse, and circulating nurse experienced more FDs compared to the surgeon.
Citation: Joseph A, Neyens D, Mihandoust S . Impact of surgical table orientation on flow disruptions and movement patterns during pediatric outpatient surgeries. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Jul 31;18(15). doi: 10.3390/ijerph18158114..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Ambulatory Care and Surgery, Surgery, Workflow
Kanji F, Cohen T, Alfred M
Room size influences flow in robotic-assisted surgery.
This study’s objective was to explore the impact of operating room size on the environmental causes of surgical flow disruptions occurring during robotic-assisted surgery. Findings from this study demonstrated previously unrecognized spatial challenges involved with introducing surgical robots into the operating domain. It is important to consider the needs of the technology prior to integration.
Citation: Kanji F, Cohen T, Alfred M . Room size influences flow in robotic-assisted surgery. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Jul 28;18(15). doi: 10.3390/ijerph18157984..
Keywords: Surgery, Patient Safety
Kutney-Lee A, Brooks Carthon M, Sloane DM
Electronic health record usability: associations with nurse and patient outcomes in hospitals.
Researchers examined associations between electronic health record (EHR) usability and nurse job and surgical patient outcomes. Data from the American Hospital Association, state patient discharges, and nurse surveys were linked in a cross-sectional analysis. The researchers found that employing EHR systems with suboptimal usability was associated with higher odds of adverse nurse job outcomes and surgical patient mortality and readmission.
Citation: Kutney-Lee A, Brooks Carthon M, Sloane DM . Electronic health record usability: associations with nurse and patient outcomes in hospitals. Med Care 2021 Jul;59(7):625-31. doi: 10.1097/mlr.0000000000001536..
Keywords: Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Health Information Technology (HIT), Surgery, Outcomes, Nursing, Provider: Nurse
Ellis RJ, Nicolas JD, Cheung E
Comprehensive characterization of the general surgery residency learning environment and the association with resident burnout.
Researchers sought to characterize the learning environment and to evaluate associations with burnout using a cross-sectional survey administered to all U.S. general surgery residents. They found that the overall burnout rate was 43.0%, and residents were more likely to report burnout if they also identified problems with residency workload, efficiency, social support, organizational culture, meaning in work, or experienced workplace mistreatment. They recommended efforts to help programs identify and address weaknesses in a targeted fashion in order to improve trainee burnout.
Citation: Ellis RJ, Nicolas JD, Cheung E . Comprehensive characterization of the general surgery residency learning environment and the association with resident burnout. Ann Surg 2021 Jul 1;274(1):6-11. doi: 10.1097/sla.0000000000004796..
Keywords: Burnout, Surgery, Stress, Provider: Physician
Herb JN, Ollila DW, Stitzenberg KB
Use and costs of sentinel lymph node biopsy in non-ulcerated T1b melanoma: analysis of a population-based registry.
This study looked at the utility of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for non-ulcerated T1b melanoma. The aim of the study was to estimate SLNB use, positivity, prevalence, and procedural costs in patients with non-ulcerated T1b melanoma using a population-based registry. Patients with clinically node-negative, non-ulcerated T1b melanoma were identified in the SEER database from 2010 to 2016. Among 7245 included patients, 53% underwent SLNB of which 156 (4.1%) had a positive SLNB. Higher odds of positivity were associated with younger age, >1 mitosis per mm2, female sex, and truncal tumor location. Estimated SLNB costs to identify one patient with Stage II disease was $71,700. Out-of-pocket expenses for a Medicare patient was estimated to be $652 for a wide local excision (WLE) and SLNB and $79 for WLE alone.
Citation: Herb JN, Ollila DW, Stitzenberg KB . Use and costs of sentinel lymph node biopsy in non-ulcerated T1b melanoma: analysis of a population-based registry. Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Jul;28(7):3470-78. doi: 10.1245/s10434-021-09998-6..
Keywords: Cancer: Skin Cancer, Cancer, Surgery, Healthcare Costs, Skin Conditions
Purnell TS, Simpson DC, Callender CO
Dismantling structural racism as a root cause of racial disparities in COVID-19 and transplantation.
As the United States faces unparalleled challenges due to COVID-19, racial disparities in health and healthcare have once again taken center stage. If effective interventions to address racial disparities in transplantation, including those magnified by COVID-19, are to be designed and implemented at the national level, it is first critical to understand the complex mechanisms by which structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized racism influence the presence of racial disparities in healthcare and transplantation. IN this article the authors discuss their viewpoint.
Citation: Purnell TS, Simpson DC, Callender CO . Dismantling structural racism as a root cause of racial disparities in COVID-19 and transplantation. Am J Transplant 2021 Jul;21(7):2327-32. doi: 10.1111/ajt.16543..
Keywords: COVID-19, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Disparities, Transplantation, Surgery, Access to Care
Khanijow AN, Wood LN, Xie R
The impact of an enhanced recovery program (ERP) on the costs of colorectal surgery.
This study’s objective was to investigate the costs associated with a colorectal Enhanced Recovery Program (ERP) in a large academic health system. Subjects were patients who underwent colorectal surgery 2012-14 (pre-ERP) and 2015-17 (ERP). Findings showed that implementation of an ERP for colorectal surgery was associated with lower variable costs compared to pre-ERP.
Citation: Khanijow AN, Wood LN, Xie R . The impact of an enhanced recovery program (ERP) on the costs of colorectal surgery. Am J Surg 2021 Jul;222(1):186-92. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2020.11.034..
Keywords: Surgery, Adverse Events, Healthcare Costs
Rosko AJ, Gay BL, Reyes-Gastelum D
Surgeons' attitudes on total thyroidectomy vs lobectomy for management of papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.
The incidence of papillary thyroid cancer has increased in the past 25 years without a clear increase in thyroid cancer deaths. Given these findings, there has been a shift toward recommending conservative surgical options, with current management guidelines favoring lobectomy, especially for patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma. The aim of this study was to identify surgeons’ attitudes regarding surgical management of microcarcinomas with the hypothesis that surgeons consider other factors, in addition to tumor size, when selecting a surgical procedure.
Citation: Rosko AJ, Gay BL, Reyes-Gastelum D . Surgeons' attitudes on total thyroidectomy vs lobectomy for management of papillary thyroid microcarcinoma. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2021 Jul;147(7):667-69. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2021.0525..
Keywords: Cancer, Surgery, Practice Patterns, Provider: Physician
Pritchard KT, Baillargeon J, Raji Ma
Association of occupational and physical therapy with duration of prescription opioid use after hip or knee arthroplasty: A retrospective cohort study of Medicare enrollees.
The purpose of this study was to establish whether non-pharmacological interventions, such as occupational and physical therapy, were associated with a shorter duration of prescription opioid use after hip or knee arthroplasty. The investigators concluded that occupational and physical therapy with home health were associated with a shorter duration of prescription opioid use after hip and knee arthroplasty.
Citation: Pritchard KT, Baillargeon J, Raji Ma . Association of occupational and physical therapy with duration of prescription opioid use after hip or knee arthroplasty: A retrospective cohort study of Medicare enrollees. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2021 Jul;102(7):1257-66. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.01.086..
Keywords: Orthopedics, Surgery, Opioids, Pain, Rehabilitation, Practice Patterns
Childers CP, Ettner SL, Hays RD
Variation in intraoperative and postoperative utilization for 3 common general surgery procedures.
The goal of this study was to understand variation in intraoperative and postoperative utilization for common general surgery procedures. Electronic health record data for 7762 operations from two health systems were analyzed. Findings showed that surgeons were significant drivers of variation in surgical supply costs and procedure time, but much less so for postoperative length of stay. Intraoperative and postoperative utilization profiles can be generated for individual surgeons and may be an important tool for reducing surgical costs.
Citation: Childers CP, Ettner SL, Hays RD . Variation in intraoperative and postoperative utilization for 3 common general surgery procedures. Ann Surg 2021 Jul 1;274(1):107-13. doi: 10.1097/sla.0000000000003571..
Keywords: Surgery, Healthcare Costs
Chao GF, Li KY, Zhu Z
Use of telehealth by surgical specialties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This study’s objective was to determine telehealth use by surgical specialty before and during the pandemic period starting in March 2020. Insurance claims from a Michigan statewide commercial payer for new patient visits with a surgeon from 1 of 9 surgical specialties during one of the following periods: prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (period 1: January 5 to March 7, 2020), early pandemic (period 2: March 8 to June 6, 2020), and late pandemic (period 3: June 7 to September 5, 2020) were analyzed. For new patient visits, 1182 surgeons (26.8%) in any patient context used telehealth. Telehealth use peaked in April 2020 and facilitated 34.6% of all new patient visits during that week. Urology was the specialty with the highest telehealth conversion rate (14.3%).
Citation: Chao GF, Li KY, Zhu Z . Use of telehealth by surgical specialties during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Surg 2021 Jul;156(7):620-26. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2021.0979..
Keywords: COVID-19, Telehealth, Health Information Technology (HIT), Access to Care, Practice Patterns, Surgery