Gaining access to reliable information on the comparative effectiveness of various health care interventions just got easier, thanks to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Through its Effective Health Care Program, AHRQ has launched a series of resource libraries(www.ahrq.gov) that present the latest research findings and patient outcomes data for selected health care topics.
Currently, the libraries of resources available cover the following health topics:
- chronic diseases,
- mental health issues and
Each library includes resources for both health care professionals and consumers. For health care professionals, the libraries provide research reports and abstracts, research reviews, clinician summaries, slide libraries and even CME activities. The consumer information for each topic area includes such resources as an overview of the health condition, consumer research summaries, comparisons of different treatment options and patient decision aides. Podcasts and webcasts on some topics also are available for both clinicians and consumers.
According to an agency spokesperson, AHRQ plans to update the existing libraries -- and create new ones -- as additional materials become available. In fact, a library on women's health issues is planned for the near future.
The information in the libraries is free and can be downloaded from the AHRQ website or ordered by sending an e-mail to the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse. When ordering, use the publication numbers listed on the specific materials and the code AHRQ C-01 to expedite the ordering process. Both English and Spanish language publications are available.