New AHRQ Info for Consumers and Public Comment

By Rachel Walden — June 14, 2012

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a draft report for public comment, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: Developing and Prioritizing a Future Research Agenda.

Through interviews with clinicians, consumer advocates, research funders, and others, and review of the evidence gaps identified in the 2010 VBAC conference, the report team came up with a lot of ideas for future research on VBAC. They then prioritized them, to highlight what they think are the top 10 most important questions for future research. These priorities are meant to guide researchers in focusing their projects and also may influence funding for such projects.

The ten priorities include: examining how institutional and other policies affect availability and safety of trial of labor after cesarean; barriers to providing safe trial of labor; maternal and infant outcomes; the effect of legal liability on practices; long-term complications, and other issues. The complete list with explanations is available in the report PDF.

An opportunity for public comment is available before the report and its priorities are finalized. To submit your comments, use this online form to enter your comments on each section or upload a document with all of them. The deadline for submitting comments is Jun. 22.

AHRQ has also released a new summary for consumers on treating chronic pelvic pain. These summaries present an overview of the condition and options, and what the researchers found from looking at the available evidence on treatment methods, with guidance for making decisions about therapy. Unfortunately, the findings were that “very little is known” about effective ways to treat chronic pelvic pain, with there being very little evidence that either medicines or surgeries really help.

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