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New Spanish-Language Consumer Guides Compare Treatments for Depression, Prostate Cancer and Other Conditions

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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ROCKVILLE, Md., July 29 Spanish speakers who want to know how soon they can expect to feel better when taking an antidepressant, which rheumatoid arthritis drugs work best against pain or how surgery compares with other options for prostate cancer now can get this and other treatment information through new Spanish-language consumer guides released today by HHS' agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

AHRQ also released consumer guides in Spanish that compare treatments for high blood pressure, osteoporosis in women after menopause and renal artery stenosis -- a narrowing of the renal artery that supplies blood to the kidneys. The six Spanish-language guides join three previously published Spanish-language guides on oral medications for type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and acid reflux disease.

"The lack of reliable health information in Spanish plays a role in health disparities faced by Hispanics in this country," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "It is critical that we fill this gap because many of the nation's 44 million Hispanics need or prefer to get such information in Spanish so they can talk with their doctors about which treatments are best for them."

AHRQ's recently released 2008 National Healthcare Disparities Report shows that while the quality of health care is slowly improving for the nation as a whole, it is getting worse for Hispanics, especially those who speak little or no English.

The new Spanish-language consumer guides are produced by AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, the leading federal effort to conduct comparative effectiveness research. That program, authorized by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, represents an important federal effort to compare alternative treatments for health conditions and make the findings public. The program is intended to help patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others choose the most effective treatments.

To access the on-line Spanish-language consumer guides, as well as AHRQ's English-language consumer guides and companion guides for clinicians, go to http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/. Audio versions of many guides also are available. To order free printed copies of the guides, call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or send an e-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
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