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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
The USPSTF is an independent panel of non-Federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine and is composed of primary care providers (such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists).
The USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services (such as screening, counseling, and preventive medications) and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. These recommendations are published in the form of "Recommendation Statements."
AHRQ's Prevention and Care Management Portfolio provides ongoing administrative, research, technical, and dissemination support to the USPSTF.
About the USPSTF
The USPSTF strives to make accurate, up-to-date, and relevant recommendations about preventive services in primary care.
To learn more detailed information about the USPSTF, including how it operates, current members and partners, and background information, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/about.htm.
Methods and Processes
For the USPSTF to recommend a service, the benefits of the service must outweigh the harms. The USPSTF focuses on maintenance of health and quality of life as the major benefits of clinical preventive services, and not simply the identification of disease.
To learn more detailed information about the USPSTF recommendation process, methods, commentary, and resources for practice, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/methods.htm.
USPSTF recommendations highlight the opportunities for improving delivery of effective services and have helped others provide preventive care in different populations. USPSTF recommendations have formed the basis of the clinical standards for many professional societies, health organizations, and medical quality review groups.
To learn more detailed information about USPSTF recommendations, grade definitions, and topics in progress or to see a list of A and B recommendations relevant for implementing the Affordable Care Act, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/recommendations.htm
In an effort to make the USPSTF recommendations clearer and its processes more transparent, the Task Force is sharing drafts of many of its documents for public comment, including all draft Research Plans and draft Recommendation Statements. In addition, in partnership with AHRQ's Effective Health Care (EHC) Program, the USPSTF also offers opportunities for public comment on draft EHC Evidence Reports that are related to the USPSTF's work.
- Draft Research Plan: Folic Acid Supplementation for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects (July 10–August 6, 2014)
To learn more detailed information about public comment, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.htm.
Nominate a New U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Member
Link to this site for all the information you need to nominate a candidate to serve as a member of the USPSTF: http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/clinicians-providers/guidelines-recommendations/uspstf/nominate.html.
Nominating Topics for USPSTF Recommendation Statements
Individuals and organizations interested in nominating a topic for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to consider for evaluation for a future recommendation can learn how on this page: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tftopicnom.htm.
Focus on Special Populations
The USPSTF is committed to improving the health of all Americans. To achieve this, the USPSTF assesses evidence on specific populations and makes specific evidence-based recommendations for specific populations.
To learn more detailed information about the Task Force's focus on special populations, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/populations.htm.
Tools for Using Recommendations in Primary Care Practice
The work of the USPSTF has helped establish the importance of including prevention in primary care. There are many tools and resources available to help you implement USPSTF recommendations into practice.
To learn more detailed information about these tools and resources, visit http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tools.htm.
Members of the media can learn more about the USPSTF, its methods, and its recommendation on this page.