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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality

Research Activities

February 2009, No. 342


About Research Activities

Feature Story

Use of atypical antipsychotic drugs increases the risk of sudden cardiac death in adults

Disparities/Minority Health

Care quality and treatment differences may underlie greater functional disability among older blacks and Latinos
Whites with poor mental health are more likely to seek treatment than blacks and Hispanics

Patient Safety and Quality

Quality of care and working conditions influence job satisfaction of surgical residents
Prescribing errors are the most common medication errors in primary care practices
Multiple approaches are needed to reduce hospital prescribing errors
Veterans Administration hospitals have a generally positive safety climate, but there is room for improvement
Leadership support and fair work distribution keep morale high during quality improvement initiatives

Child/Adolescent Health

Children receive ear tubes more frequently than clinical guidelines and experts recommend
Minority children with asthma frequently use emergency departments for care
Adolescent females who are overweight have higher health expenditures than adolescent males who are overweight

Women's Health

Older black women do not receive chemotherapy as often as white women after ovarian cancer surgery
Many older women prefer to have annual Pap tests

Men's Health

More intensive prostate cancer screening and treatment is not linked with fewer prostate cancer deaths
Neither family history nor perceived risk of prostate cancer affects men's screening or preventive behaviors

Elderly/Long-Term Care

Older white men are most likely to be diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma
Adding more staff may be a necessary, but insufficient, way to improve nursing home quality
Retaining home care nurses depends on their job tenure and job satisfaction
The Web-based Nursing Home Compare report card improves nursing home quality, but not across the board

Preventive Care

A multicomponent implementation strategy increases the use of care processes associated with higher rates of preventive services
Women and blacks are less likely to receive preventive care to prevent further strokes

Chronic Disease

Social support did not yield better health results in study of patients with diabetes
Telephone coaching following hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome adds little to in-hospital counseling

Mental Health

Most office-based psychiatrists are providing medication rather than psychotherapy to their patients
Mental health counseling remains persistently low from adolescence into young adulthood

Health Care Costs and Financing

Hospice costs vary across patients and within a hospice stay
The volume and charges for vertebroplasty performed in Medicare patients doubled from 2001 to 2005, but rates varied considerably by State
Subsidies and education about the value of health insurance may help encourage the uninsured to enroll in health plans

Agency News and Notes

Hospitals' cost for the top six cardiovascular treatments is nearing $60 billion
Hospitalizations are declining for digestive system bleeding
Hospitals spend less for patients in Medicare Advantage than for patients in fee-for-service Medicare
Nearly 11 million Americans have individual health insurance policies, but some only for a short time


AHRQ issues two Funding Opportunity Announcements (R01 and R18)
A new model estimates emergency evacuation needs for health care facilities
AHRQ announces new Web site on emerging issues in medical therapeutics

Research Briefs

Research Briefs
Visit the AHRQ Patient Safety Network Web Site

AHRQ Publication No. 09-RA005
Current as of February 2009

Internet Citation:

Research Activities Newsletter. February 2009, No. 342. AHRQ Publication No. 09-RA005. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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