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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), first convened by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1984, and since 1998 sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), is the leading independent panel of private-sector experts in prevention and primary care. The USPSTF conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and preventive medications. Its recommendations are considered the "gold standard" for clinical preventive services.
The mission of the USPSTF is to evaluate the benefits of individual services based on age, gender, and risk factors for disease; make recommendations about which preventive services should be incorporated routinely into primary medical care and for which populations; and identify a research agenda for clinical preventive care.
Background and Mission
Public Law 106-129 Section 915 mandates that AHRQ convene the USPSTF to conduct scientific evidence reviews of a broad array of clinical preventive services, develop recommendations for the health care community, and provide ongoing administrative, research, technical, and dissemination support.
The Task Force's pioneering efforts began with the 1989 Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. A second edition of the Guide was published in 1996. The current Guide to Clinical Preventive Services is available on the Web.
Current as of December 2010
About the USPSTF: Introduction. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. December 2010. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/intro.htm