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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 257 Research Studies Displayed
Smulowitz PB, O'Malley AJ, McWilliams JM
Variation in rates of hospital admission from the emergency department among Medicare patients at the regional, hospital, and physician levels.
Rates of admission from the emergency department (ED) vary widely across regions of the country, hospitals within regions, and physicians within hospitals. The study objective was to determine the extent to which variation in admission decisions was described by differences in admission rates at these 3 levels. The investigators concluded that within-area variation, both across hospitals within a region and across physicians within a hospital, was a more substantial component of observed variation in admission rates from the ED than regional level variation.
Citation: Smulowitz PB, O'Malley AJ, McWilliams JM . Variation in rates of hospital admission from the emergency department among Medicare patients at the regional, hospital, and physician levels. Ann Emerg Med 2021 Oct;78(4):474-83. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2021.03.020..
Keywords: Medicare, Hospitalization, Emergency Department, Practice Patterns
Enzinger AC, Ghosh K, Keating NL
US trends in opioid access among patients with poor prognosis cancer near the end-of-life.
This study looked at trends in opioid prescriptions for cancer patients near the end-of-life (EOL) defined as the 30 days before death or hospice enrollment. The authors looked at Medicare part D data from 2007 to 2017 for 270,632 Medicare fee-for-service decedents with poor prognosis cancers. During that time, the proportion of decedents with poor prognosis cancers receiving 1 or greater opioid prescriptions near EOL declined 15.5% and the proportion receiving 1 or greater long-acting opioid prescriptions declined 36.5% to 18.1%. The mean daily dose fell from 24.5%, from 85.6 morphine milligram equivalents per day (MMED) to 64.6. The total amount of opioids prescribed fell from 1,075 morphine milligram equivalents per decedent to 666 morphine milligram equivalents per decedents. At the same time, the proportion of patients with pain-related ED visits increase 50.8% from 13.2% to 19.9%.
Citation: Enzinger AC, Ghosh K, Keating NL . US trends in opioid access among patients with poor prognosis cancer near the end-of-life. J Clin Oncol 2021 Sep 10;39(26):2948-58. doi: 10.1200/jco.21.00476..
Keywords: Cancer, Opioids, Palliative Care, Pain, Access to Care, Medication, Practice Patterns
Patterson BW, Johnson J, Ward MD
Effect of a split-flow physician in triage model on abdominal CT ordering rate and yield.
The objective of this study was to compare the rate and clinical yield of computed tomography (CT) imaging between patients presenting with abdominal pain initially seen by a physician in triage (PIT) versus those seen only by physicians working in the main emergency department (ED). For patients with abdominal pain, the investigators found no significant differences in rates of CT ordering or CT yield for patients seen in a PIT vs. traditional models.
Citation: Patterson BW, Johnson J, Ward MD . Effect of a split-flow physician in triage model on abdominal CT ordering rate and yield. Am J Emerg Med 2021 Aug;46:160-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2020.05.119..
Keywords: Imaging, Emergency Department, Practice Patterns, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Vemulakonda VM, Sevick C, Juarez-Colunga E
Treatment of infants with ureteropelvic junction obstruction: findings from the PURSUIT network.
Studies based on administrative databases show that infant pyeloplasty is associated with minority race/ethnicity but lack clinical data that may influence treatment. The objective of this study was to identify clinical and demographic factors associated with pyeloplasty in infants from three large tertiary centers. The investigators found that infant pyeloplasty rates varied between sites. In addition, they found that prolonged T½ was associated with surgery despite prior studies suggesting this was a poor predictor of worsening dilation or function.
Citation: Vemulakonda VM, Sevick C, Juarez-Colunga E . Treatment of infants with ureteropelvic junction obstruction: findings from the PURSUIT network. Int Urol Nephrol 2021 Aug;53(8):1485-95. doi: 10.1007/s11255-021-02866-y..
Keywords: Newborns/Infants, Treatments, Practice Patterns
Vu K, Zhou J, Everhart A
Uptake of evidence by physicians: de-adoption of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents after the TREAT trial.
Variation in de-adoption of ineffective or unsafe treatments is not well-understood. In this study the investigators examined de-adoption of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) in anemia treatment among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) following new clinical evidence of harm and ineffectiveness (the TREAT trial) and the FDA's revision of its safety warning. The investigators found that physician specialty had a dominant role in prescribing decision, and specializations with higher use of treatment (nephrologists) were more responsive to new evidence of unsafety and ineffectiveness.
Citation: Vu K, Zhou J, Everhart A . Uptake of evidence by physicians: de-adoption of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents after the TREAT trial. BMC Nephrol 2021 Aug 21;22(1):284. doi: 10.1186/s12882-021-02491-y..
Keywords: Evidence-Based Practice, Medication: Safety, Medication, Patient Safety, Practice Patterns, Provider: Physician
Morden NE, Chyn D, Wood A
Racial inequality in prescription opioid receipt - role of individual health systems.
The purpose of this study was to explore the contribution of individual health systems in the receipt of prescription opioids among racial groups in the United States. Medicare claims data for 2016-2017 was used to obtain a random 40% national sample of fee-for-service, Black and White beneficiaries 18 to 64 years of age and identify 310 racially diverse systems. Findings showed that, within individual health systems, Black and White patients received markedly different opioid doses. These system-specific findings could facilitate exploration of the causes and consequences of these differences.
Citation: Morden NE, Chyn D, Wood A . Racial inequality in prescription opioid receipt - role of individual health systems. N Engl J Med 2021 Jul 22;385(4):342-51. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa2034159..
Keywords: Opioids, Medication, Racial / Ethnic Minorities, Disparities, Practice Patterns
Teoh L, Thompson W, Hubbard CC
Comparison of dental benzodiazepine prescriptions from the U.S., England, and Australia from 2013 to 2018.
Benzodiazepines contribute to substance use disorder and are often part of polydrug abuse, most frequently with opioids. Although dental opioid prescribing differs significantly between countries, little is known about the patterns of dental benzodiazepine prescribing. The aim of this study was to compare dental prescribing of benzodiazepines among the U.S., England, and Australia in 2013-2018.
Citation: Teoh L, Thompson W, Hubbard CC . Comparison of dental benzodiazepine prescriptions from the U.S., England, and Australia from 2013 to 2018. Am J Prev Med 2021 Jul;61(1):73-79. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.01.025..
Keywords: Opioids, Medication, Practice Patterns, Dental Health
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
Chou LN, Kuo YF, Raji MA
Potentially inappropriate medication prescribing by nurse practitioners and physicians.
This study compared prescribing rates for potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) by physicians and nurse practitioners (NPs). The authors used 100% Texas Medicare data to define physician and NP visits in 2016. Rates of visits with a PIM prescription from the same provider was measured by initial and refill visits. There were 24.1 per 1000 visits for PIM prescriptions, 9.0 per 1000 visits for an initial PM and 15.1 per 1000 visits for a refill PIM. Visits to an NP was less likely to result in an initial and refill PIM visit than a visit to a physician. There was a strong association of lower odds of a black enrollee receiving a PIM by an NP than white enrollees. There was also less likelihood of receiving a PIM refill from an NP in older patients and in those with more comorbidities.
AHRQ-funded; HS020642; HS020642.
Citation: Chou LN, Kuo YF, Raji MA . Potentially inappropriate medication prescribing by nurse practitioners and physicians. J Am Geriatr Soc 2021 Jul;69(7):1916-24. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17120..
Keywords: Medication: Safety, Medication, Provider: Physician, Provider: Nurse, Hospitalization, Practice Patterns, Ambulatory Care and Surgery
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
Worsham CM, Woo J, Jena AB
Adverse events and emergency department opioid prescriptions in adolescents.
Understanding the risks associated with opioid prescription in adolescents is critical for informing opioid policy, but the risks are challenging to quantify given the lack of randomized trial data. Using a regression discontinuity design, the investigators exploited a discontinuous increase in opioid prescribing in the emergency department (ED) when adolescents transitioned from "child" to "adult" at age eighteen to estimate the effect of an ED opioid prescription on subsequent opioid-related adverse events.
Citation: Worsham CM, Woo J, Jena AB . Adverse events and emergency department opioid prescriptions in adolescents. Health Aff 2021 Jun;40(6):970-78. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2020.01762..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Emergency Department, Opioids, Medication, Adverse Drug Events (ADE), Adverse Events, Patient Safety, Practice Patterns
Wallner LP, Banerjee M, Reyes-Gastelum D
Multilevel factors associated with more intensive use of radioactive iodine for low-risk thyroid cancer.
The use of radioactive iodine (RAI) for low-risk thyroid cancer is common, and variation in its use exists, despite the lack of benefit for low-risk disease and potential harms and costs. The objective of this study was to simultaneously assess patient- and physician-level factors associated with patient-reported receipt of RAI for low-risk thyroid cancer. The investigators concluded that physician perspectives and attitudes about using RAI, as well as patient volume, influenced RAI use for low-risk thyroid cancer.
Citation: Wallner LP, Banerjee M, Reyes-Gastelum D . Multilevel factors associated with more intensive use of radioactive iodine for low-risk thyroid cancer. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 May 13;106(6):e2402-e12. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab139..
Keywords: Cancer, Practice Patterns, Decision Making, Risk
Mack DS, Baek J, Tjia J
Geographic variation of statin use among US nursing home residents with life-limiting illness.
The authors described regional variation in statin use among residents with life-limiting illness. Statin usage was determined by examination of Medicare Part D claims. Findings suggested extensive geographic variation in US statin prescribing across hospital referral regions, especially for those aged 76 years or older. This variation may reflect clinical uncertainty given the largely absent guidelines for statin use in nursing home residents.
Citation: Mack DS, Baek J, Tjia J . Geographic variation of statin use among US nursing home residents with life-limiting illness. Med Care 2021 May;59(5):425-36. doi: 10.1097/mlr.0000000000001505..
Keywords: Elderly, Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care, Medicare, Practice Patterns
Hubbard CC, Evans CT, Calip GS
Characteristics associated with opioid and antibiotic prescribing by dentists.
The objective of this study was to identify county-level characteristics that may be high-impact targets for opioid and antibiotic interventions to improve dental prescribing. The investigators concluded that dental prescribing of opioids was decreasing, whereas dental antibiotic prescribing was increasing. High prescribing of antibiotics was associated with high prescribing of opioids. The investigators suggested that strategies focused on optimizing dental antibiotics and opioids are needed given their impact on population health.
Citation: Hubbard CC, Evans CT, Calip GS . Characteristics associated with opioid and antibiotic prescribing by dentists. Am J Prev Med 2021 May;60(5):648-57. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.11.017..
Keywords: Antibiotics, Opioids, Medication, Practice Patterns
Szymczak JE, Keller SC, Linder JA
"I never get better without an antibiotic": antibiotic appeals and how to respond.
In this paper, the investigators present various scenarios in which patients who do not meet guideline criteria for antibiotic prescribing, appeal to clinicians for antibiotics. The authors discuss the issue of antiobiotic appeals and provide examples of responses for clinicians. They suggest that clinicians should acquire a stock of responses to these appeals grounded in the latest evidence about antibiotics.
AHRQ-funded; 233201500020I; HS026506; HS025782.
Citation: Szymczak JE, Keller SC, Linder JA . "I never get better without an antibiotic": antibiotic appeals and how to respond. Mayo Clin Proc 2021 Mar;96(3):543-46. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.09.031..
Keywords: Antimicrobial Stewardship, Antibiotics, Medication, Clinician-Patient Communication, Communications, Practice Patterns
McCarthy DM, Kim HS, Hur SI
Patient-reported opioid pill consumption after an ed visit: how many pills are people using?
This study examined opioid use patterns after an emergency department (ED) visit. The study was conducted at an urban academic emergency department and included patients 18 years or older, not chemically using opioids, and had been newly prescribed hydrocodone-acetaminophen. They were asked to complete and return a 10-day medication diary. Two-hundred sixty patients returned completed medication diaries that included treatment for different conditions. The mean age was 45 years and 59% of the sample was female. The median number of pills prescribed was 12. Patients with renal colic used the least number of pills and patients with back pain used the most. Almost all (92.5%) of patients had leftover pills by the end of the 10 days.
Citation: McCarthy DM, Kim HS, Hur SI . Patient-reported opioid pill consumption after an ed visit: how many pills are people using? Pain Med 2021 Feb 23;22(2):292-302. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa048..
Keywords: Opioids, Medication, Emergency Department, Practice Patterns, Pain
Hollenbeck BK, Oerline M, =Kaufman SR
Promotional payments made to urologists by the pharmaceutical industry and prescribing patterns for targeted therapies.
The authors measured the association between market-level promotional payments to urologists by the manufacturers of abiraterone and enzalutamide and national prescribing patterns. They found that promotional payments to urologists at the market level were strongly associated with the specialty of the physician prescribing abiraterone or enzalutamide for the first time. They recommended that future work elucidate the effects of the shift in prescribing patterns on quality of care and financial hardship for men with advanced prostate cancer.
Citation: Hollenbeck BK, Oerline M, =Kaufman SR . Promotional payments made to urologists by the pharmaceutical industry and prescribing patterns for targeted therapies. Urology 2021 Feb;148:134-40. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2020.08.080..
Keywords: Provider: Physician, Provider, Medication, Practice Patterns
Feder SL, Canavan ME, Wang S
Patterns of opioid prescribing among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with pain and cardiopulmonary conditions.
This study’s objective was to compare patterns of opioid prescribing among older adults reporting pain with cardiopulmonary conditions, cancer, or both. Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey resource linked to Medicare Part D prescription claims was used to identify patients who self-reported moderate- to-severe pain interference with daily activities. Patients included were stratified by 1) self-reported history of cardiopulmonary conditions; 2) were within five years of cancer diagnosis; 3) had both conditions; or 4) neither. Of 10,516 patients identified, 1758 had cardiopulmonary conditions, 3383 cancer, 2861 both, and 2514 neither: with 46% aged 75 or more, 65% non-Hispanic white, and 10% non-Hispanic black. At the time of the survey, 1627 (15.5%) received opioids. Adjusted proportions of opioid use were similar for all conditions, with 14% for cardiopulmonary conditions only, 17% with cancer only, and 17% for both conditions. Patients with neither condition had a 13.1% opioid use rate.
AHRQ-funded; HS022882; HS025164.
Citation: Feder SL, Canavan ME, Wang S . Patterns of opioid prescribing among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with pain and cardiopulmonary conditions. J Palliat Med 2021 Feb;24(2):195-204. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2020.0193..
Keywords: Elderly, Opioids, Medication, Practice Patterns, Medicare
Wang T, Baskin A, Miller J
Trends in breast cancer treatment de-implementation in older patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: a mixed methods study.
Guidelines allow for the omission of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and post-lumpectomy radiotherapy in women >/= 70 years of age with hormone receptor-positive (HR +) breast cancer. Despite this, national data suggest these procedures have not been widely de-implemented. The objectives of this study were to evaluate trends in SLNB and post-lumpectomy radiotherapy utilization in patients who were eligible for omission and evaluate patient preferences as a target for de-implementation of low-value care.
Citation: Wang T, Baskin A, Miller J . Trends in breast cancer treatment de-implementation in older patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer: a mixed methods study. Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Feb;28(2):902-13. doi: 10.1245/s10434-020-08823-w..
Keywords: Elderly, Cancer: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Healthcare Utilization, Practice Patterns, Value, Women
Truitt KN, Brown T, Lee JY
Appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for acute sinusitis in primary care: a cross-sectional study.
The proportion of sinusitis visits that meet antibiotic prescribing criteria is unknown. In this cross-sectional study the authors investigated the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for acute sinusitis in primary care. The investigators found that of 425 randomly selected sinusitis visits, 50% met antibiotic prescribing criteria.
AHRQ-funded; HS024930; 233201500020I; HS026506.
Citation: Truitt KN, Brown T, Lee JY . Appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for acute sinusitis in primary care: a cross-sectional study. Clin Infect Dis 2021 Jan 15;72(2):311-14. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa736..
Keywords: Antibiotics, Medication, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Primary Care, Respiratory Conditions, Practice Patterns
Ali MM, McClellan C, West KD
AHRQ Author: McClellan C
Medical marijuana laws, marijuana use, and opioid-related outcomes among women in the United States.
This study examined whether state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) was associated with lower levels of opioid-related outcomes. Data was drawn from the 2002-2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to compare opioid misuse in states with and without MMLs among all women, pregnant women, and parenting women. It also invested the impact of MMLs on marijuana use and marijuana use disorder. There was found to be no association of MMLs with opioid misuse, opioid misuse initiation, or opioid use disorder among all women, pregnant women and parenting women. However there was a positive correlation with marijuana use and marijuana use disorder among all women and women with children. MMLs were also associated with an increase in the frequency of opioid misuse in pregnant women and a decrease in the frequency of opioid misuse for parenting women.
Citation: Ali MM, McClellan C, West KD . Medical marijuana laws, marijuana use, and opioid-related outcomes among women in the United States. Womens Health Issues 2021 Jan-Feb;31(1):24-30. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2020.09.003..
Keywords: Women, Opioids, Substance Abuse, Medication, Policy, Practice Patterns
Eyrich NW, Sloss KR, Howard RA
Opioid prescribing exceeds consumption following common surgical oncology procedures.
Researchers aimed to compare opioid prescribing to opioid consumption for common surgical oncology procedures. They found that the median quantity of opioid prescribed was significantly larger than consumed following breast biopsy, lumpectomy, and mastectomy or wide local excision. The majority of patients reported receiving education on taking opioids, but only 27% received instructions on proper disposal; 82% of prescriptions filled resulted in unused opioids, and only 11% of these patients safely disposed of them. They concluded that their study demonstrated that opioid prescribing exceeds consumption following common surgical oncology procedures, thus indicating the potential for reductions in prescribing.
Citation: Eyrich NW, Sloss KR, Howard RA . Opioid prescribing exceeds consumption following common surgical oncology procedures. J Surg Oncol 2021 Jan;123(1):352-56. doi: 10.1002/jso.26272..
Keywords: Opioids, Medication, Surgery, Cancer: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Practice Patterns, Pain
King AC, Morden NE
A proposed taxonomy for population-level prescription use patterns.
The authors proposed a taxonomy of population-level prescription drug use patterns, assigning prescription use to one of five categories according to likely population-level health impact. Their hope is that the proposed taxonomy will inform discussion of prescription drug value by providing estimates of population impact, especially the balance of anticipated benefit and harm.
Citation: King AC, Morden NE . A proposed taxonomy for population-level prescription use patterns. J Prescr Pract 2021 Jan;3(1):22-27. doi: 10.12968/jprp.2021.3.1.22..
Keywords: Medication, Practice Patterns
Navis A, George MC, Nmashie A
Validation of the Safer Opioid Prescribing Evaluation Tool (SOPET) for assessing adherence to the Centers for Disease Control opioid prescribing guidelines.
This study assessed the use of the Safer Opioid Prescribing Evaluation Tool (SOPET) which was designed to improve the implementation of the 2016 Centers for Disease Control Guidelines on the prescription of opioids for chronic pain. Four raters with varying levels of clinical experience were trained to use the SOPET and then used it to evaluate 21 baseline patient scenarios. Inter-rater reliability was measured using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) estimates and their 95% confidence intervals for the total SOPET score based on a mean-rating absolute-agreement, two-way random-effects model. Inter-rater reliability was found to be good for the three physician raters (0.92, 0.97, and 0.99). However, inter-rater reliability for the non-physician rater was lower (0.67).
Citation: Navis A, George MC, Nmashie A . Validation of the Safer Opioid Prescribing Evaluation Tool (SOPET) for assessing adherence to the Centers for Disease Control opioid prescribing guidelines. Pain Med 2020 Dec 25;21(12):3655-59. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa138..
Keywords: Opioids, Medication, Medication: Safety, Patient Safety, Guidelines, Practice Patterns, Pain, Chronic Conditions, Evidence-Based Practice