The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Children's Health Research Portfolio

Published In: Maternal and Child Health Journal, v. 14, no. 1, Jan. 2010, p. 1-8

by Dana Schultz, Michael Seid, Michael A. Stoto, Jane McClure Burstain

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The objective of this work was to describe and assess the potential impact of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's, AHRQ's, children's health activities. Using AHRQ databases and publications lists and generic search engines, the authors developed a comprehensive list of AHRQ's funded children's health activities (1990-2005) and related publications (1996-2002). The authors conducted bibliometric analyses and used Stryer's (2000) approach to categorize their potential impact. They found that AHRQ's child health portfolio has changed over time with an increase in activities related to patient safety and health information technology, reflecting trends at AHRQ as a whole. Further, AHRQ has contributed a substantial body of new knowledge as a result of its funding for children's health activities. The bibliometric analysis suggests that AHRQ's children's health activities have successfully disseminated research findings and new knowledge through the published literature. Most of the publications present research findings that can be building blocks early in the translation continuum rather than findings that directly inform policy or change clinical practice. Through its funding of children's health activities, AHRQ has contributed new knowledge that has been disseminated effectively in the published literature. However, while AHRQ has successfully engaged the child health services research community, efforts to broaden into policy, practice and patient arenas have been less successful.

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