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Spanish Language Guides Improve Patient Access

ROCKVILLE, MD - HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today released a series of free evidence-based guides designed to help Spanish speakers understand and compare the risks, benefits and side effects of treatments for eight health conditions.

The guides provide valuable information that patients can use in talking with their clinicians. Half of the topics cover health issues specifically for women, including guides on controlling gestational diabetes during pregnancy, deciding to induce labor and comparing core needle biopsy to surgical biopsy for breast lesions. Other guides cover treatments for high cholesterol, osteoarthritis of the knee and the use of insulin analogues for treating type 2 diabetes.

“Many Spanish speakers don’t have access to credible, easy-to-understand information about health care conditions and their treatment options, and that can be a significant barrier to seeking medical care,” said Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., AHRQ director. “These guides represent important resources that will help encourage patients to seek care and work with their doctors to discuss all of their treatment options.”

Dr. Clancy added that AHRQ’s 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report shows that while the quality of health care is slowly improving for the nation as a whole, for many measures the report tracks, it is getting worse for Hispanics.

The new publications are part of AHRQ’s growing inventory of plain-language, English and Spanish guides that summarize the scientific evidence on various health conditions so that consumers can learn more about the effectiveness and risk of different treatment options.

The guides are produced by AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, a 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 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 for individual patients.

The titles of the eight guides are:

• Insulina premezclada para la diabetes tipo 2. Guía para adultos (Premixed Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes: A Guide for Adults);

• Tratamientos para el cholesterol alto. Guía para adultos (Treating High Cholesterol: A Guide for Adults);

• Osteoartritis de la rodilla. Guía para adultos (Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Guide for Adults);

• Diabetes gestacional. Guía para la mujer embarazada (Gestational Diabetes: A Guide for Pregnant Women);

• Cuando se tiene una biopsia del seno. Guía para las mujeres y sus familias (Having a Breast Biopsy: A Guide for Women and Their Families);

• Ablación con radiofrecuencia para tartar la fibrilación auricular. Guía para adultos (Radiofrequency Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation: A Guide for Adults);

• Reduzca el riesgo de cáncer del seno con medicamentos. Guía para la mujer (Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer With Medicine: A Guide for Women); and

• ¿Está pensando que le induzcan el parto? Guía para la mujer embarazada (Thinking About Having Your Labor Induced? A Guide for Pregnant Women).

In addition to the new guides, AHRQ previously released Spanish-language guides on nine other topics, including oral medicines for type 2 diabetes, pain medicines for osteoarthritis, medications for adults with depression and treatments for osteoporosis and prostate cancer.



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