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July 9, 2012

A New Approach to Health Services Research

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Office of Research and Development (Drs Kupersmith and Eisen) and Health Services Research and Development Service (Dr Eisen), US Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(13):1033-1034. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2004

The article “Overuse of Health Care Services in the United States: An Understudied Problem” by Korenstein et al1 not only demonstrates the need for more research on a critically important topic but also shows why a new approach to health services research (HSR) is needed. Overuse of health care services has been a focal point for many decades, yet the study team's exhaustive literature search of more than 114 000 MEDLINE articles published over 31 years identified only 172 articles addressing this topic. Of those 172, “robust evidence” was found for a handful of services, leading the study team to conclude that

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