Clinical Research

Evidence-Based Assistance

Logo for the Agency for Healthcare Research and QualityThe California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP) is partnering with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), on an important initiative, enabling us to offer you and your patients free evidence-based resources that summarize the benefits and risks of different treatment options for common health conditions based on comparative effectiveness research. Together we will increase awareness of comparative effectiveness research (CER), a type of patient-centered outcomes research, and help health care professionals work with their patients to make the best possible treatment decisions.

Why Comparative Effectiveness Research Is Important

Comparative Effectiveness Research informs health care decision-making by comparing evidence on the effectiveness, benefits, and harms of different treatment options for common health conditions. Through systematic reviews, researchers synthesize available evidence on:

  • Drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Tests
  • Surgeries
  • Ways to deliver health care

The AHRQ, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the first federal agency to have a legislative mandate to conduct Comparative Effectiveness Research.

AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program supports research on conditions including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and mental health disorders among others. As an advocate for evidence-based research and informed decision making, CANP is partnering with AHRQ to share the Agency’s growing inventory of free research reports and tools to help clinicians educate patients about common conditions and work with patients to make informed decisions about care.

These publications help clinicians and patients work together to make the best possible decisions among treatment options. The Effective Health Care Program also offers free continuing education modules for a variety of health care professionals and downloadable faculty slide sets for health care educators.

How To Use AHRQ’s Products

AHRQ’s research is “descriptive, not prescriptive.” The Agency’s research and support products do not recommend treatments or tests, nor do they tell clinicians how to treat their patients. Instead, AHRQ’s products are designed to clearly communicate treatment options’ benefits, harms, and side effects, so clinicians and patients have evidence-based information when making individual treatment decisions. With these goals in mind, AHRQ’s clinician summaries are designed to help clinicians quickly access reliable information. The summaries, typically just two pages, provide context about key clinical questions and offer a “Clinical Bottom Line” section that summarizes research conclusions and indicates the strength of evidence behind each finding. The summaries also highlight areas where more evidence is needed to address additional clinical issues.

To make the best use of AHRQ’s products, clinicians may:

In addition to these resources, AHRQ offers slide sets, web conferences, and much more. To access these products and learn more about AHRQ’s work, visit To order copies of the summaries, call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 800–358–9295 and use code C-02.

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