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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care

Topic Suggestion Description

View Topic Suggestion Disposition (PDF) 33 kB

Date submitted: August 13, 2009

Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.
Compare the effectiveness of preventive health clinics vs. usual care in promoting systematic preventive health screening.
Does your question include a comparison of different health care approaches? (If no, your topic will still be considered.)
If yes, explain the specific technologies, devices, drugs, or interventions you would like to see compared:
Usual care:
patients in towns (regions) A, B, C participate in preventive health care screening as usual (perhaps funds available)

Patients in towns D, E, F have preventive health care screening available in a clinic. (plan available but not tonight as on another computer). They can be referred by MD or go on their own.
What patients or group(s) of patients does your question apply to? (Please include specific details such as age range, gender, coexisting diagnoses, and indications for therapy.)
All ages but start with adults middle-aged or older
Are there subgroups of patients that your question might apply to? (For example, an ethnic group, stage or severity of a disease.)
Describe the health-related benefits you are interested in. (For example, improvements in patient symptoms or problems from treatment or diagnosis.)
Improving health care screening. Patients will be referred to their primary care physician for care of identified conditions.
Describe any health-related risks, side effects, or harms that you are concerned about.

Appropriateness for EHC Program

Does your question include a health care drug, intervention, device, or technology available (or likely to be available) in the U.S.?
Which priority area(s) and population(s) does this topic apply to? (check all that apply)
EHC Priority Conditions (updated in 2008)
  • Arthritis and nontraumatic joint disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease, including stroke and hypertension
  • Dementia, including Alzheimer's disease
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Developmental delays, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Functional limitations and disability
  • Infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS
  • Obesity
  • Pulmonary disease/asthma
  • Substance abuse
AHRQ Priority Populations
  • Low income groups
  • Minority groups
  • Women
  • Children
  • Elderly
Federal Health Care Program
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
  • Other


Describe why this topic is important.
Preventive health care is important but presently provided in an irregular way and generally not systematic. Also, it is not a good use of physician time, not to mention all the time people need to take to get off work for multiple appointments. Better to have a clinic where people can go in and get all their health screening, diet education, smoking and drug intervention, cholesterol, mammography, etc. Then they can get referred back to their doctor/PA for counseling and follow up.
What specifically motivated you to ask this question? (For example, you are developing a clinical guideline, working with a policy with large uncertainty about the appropriate approach, costly intervention, new research you have read, items in the media you may have seen, a clinical practice dilemma you know of, etc.)
frustration with present system
Does your question represent uncertainty for clinicians and/or policy-makers? (For example, variations in clinical care, controversy in what constitutes appropriate clinical care, or a policy decision.)
If yes, please explain:
Guidelines are available and this type of clinic could work under established guidelines.

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?
Describe the timeframe in which an answer to your question is needed.
Depends on how long you want to pay for expensive preventive health that could be better paid for and provided through preventive health screening and education clinics.
Describe any health disparities, inequities, or impact on vulnerable populations your question applies to.
Will be good for these populations but also useful for high power executives who don't like to take a lot of time off work. Also good for doctors who never take time themselves.

Nominator Information

Other Information About You: (optional)
Please choose a description that best describes your role or perspective: (you may select more than one category if appropriate)
  • Physician
  • Researcher
Are you making a suggestion as an individual or on behalf of an organization?