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AHRQ--Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Advancing Excellence in Health Care
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EHC Program Spotlight:
Vanderbilt Evidence-based Practice Center

Editor's Note: Comparative Effectiveness News is adding a new feature with this edition: The EHC Program Spotlight. This feature will provide some background information on the many partners involved in the Effective Health Care Program — acquainting our readers with the 15 Evidence-based Practice Centers (EPCs), the 13 members of the Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness (DEcIDE) Network, the 14 Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs), the Scientific Resource Center, and the John M. Eisenberg Center for Clinical Decisions and Communications Science. This issue will introduce the Vanderbilt EPC at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Vanderbilt EPC logo

The Vanderbilt EPC received its contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in 2007. Katherine E. Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D., who has served as the Director of the Vanderbilt EPC since its founding, is also the Deputy Director of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, the Director of Women’s Health Research, and the Lucius M. Burch Vice Chair of Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Melissa McPheeters, M.P.H., Ph.D., who is the Associate Director for Methods at the Vanderbilt EPC, is also the Deputy Director of Women’s Health Research at Vanderbilt.

Currently, the Vanderbilt EPC is working on three upcoming systematic reviews and a technical report.

The Vanderbilt EPC was charged with the task of conducting systematic reviews of currently available evidence concerning various topics, including women´s health, child health, trauma, surgery, and cardiology. Most recently, the Vanderbilt EPC researchers published a report titled Treatment for Overactive Bladder in Women. Faculty and researchers at Vanderbilt have significant expertise in developing systematic reviews and meta-analyses. A list of recent publications is available on their Web site.

Currently, the Vanderbilt EPC is working on three upcoming systematic reviews and a technical report. The first project, due in summer 2010, is a review of evidence related to traumatic brain injury and depression. A second review, due in fall 2010, compares the use of progestogens for the prevention of preterm birth. The third review, on therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders, is also due in fall 2010.

The Vanderbilt EPC is also completing a Technical Brief on maternal-fetal surgery to be published in 2010. Technical Briefs are rapid reviews of the current evidence on an emerging medical technology or procedure. The Vanderbilt EPC recently received funding from AHRQ through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to review research related to pregnancy and preterm birth over the next 3 years.