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

Topic Suggestion Description

View Topic Suggestion Disposition (PDF) 53 kB

Date submitted: September 09, 2011

Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.
What is the effectiveness of the use of pharmacological interventions (FDA approved) in treating alcohol-use disorders in primary care settings?
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:
Behavioral intervention only vs. behavioral intervention plus pharmacological intervention
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 patients 18 and older with alcohol-use disorders encountered in primary care settings, no restriction by gender/race
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.)
- Reduction in heavy drinking days
- Reduction in drinking days
- Reduction in abnormal LFTs
- Improved mental and physical health
Describe any health-related risks, side effects, or harms that you are concerned about.
AEs specifics to each medications used in potential trial. All those meds, however, have been approved by FDA.

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)
  • Substance abuse
AHRQ Priority Populations
Federal Health Care Program


Describe why this topic is important.
Alcohol is third risk factor of disease in the US and yet preventable.
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.)
Limited research devoted to that specific population
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:

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?
Provide guidelines for pcp
Describe the timeframe in which an answer to your question is needed.
Sooner the better
Describe any health disparities, inequities, or impact on vulnerable populations your question applies to.
Disparities usually seen among patients who can not afford specialized care

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
  • Other
Are you making a suggestion as an individual or on behalf of an organization?
Please tell us how you heard about the Effective Health Care Program