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Standard Recommendation Statement

A standard Recommendation Statement includes the following:


The Task Force places the following statement at the top of its recommendation statements to explain the scope and limitations of Task Force recommendations, and to acknowledge the role of patients, clinicians, and policymakers in decisionmaking about preventive services.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific clinical preventive services for patients without related signs or symptoms.

It bases its recommendations on the evidence of both the benefits and harms of the service and an assessment of the balance. The USPSTF does not consider the costs of providing a service in this assessment.

The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decisionmaking to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms.

Summary of Recommendation and Evidence

The Summary describes the recommendation and includes the letter grade. The Summary is the "bottom line" of the USPSTF's Recommendation statement.

Structured Rationale

The Structured Rationale is a summary of the USPSTF's reasoning for its recommendation. This section provides a more detailed description of considerations for that particular recommendation. For example, the rationale for a screening service includes information about the importance of the condition, detection of the condition, benefits and harms of early detection and treatment, and critical gaps in knowledge. This section concludes with a brief overall assessment of the evidence.

Clinical Considerations

The Clinical Considerations section includes detailed information about how to provide or offer the preventive service in the clinical setting. This section identifies the population for whom the recommendation is intended and provides practical information on use of the service (for example, information on tests and how often to provide them, ages when patients should start or stop the service, risk factors, and treatment).

Other Considerations

The Other Considerations section provides information to help clinicians and policymakers on cost and cost-effectiveness, resources required to implement the service, and current practice. In this section, the USPSTF identifies key gaps in the evidence and discusses priorities for future research and research funding.


The Discussion section describes the scope of the evidence review and provides additional detail on how the evidence of benefits and harms and the collective judgment of the USPSTF were combined to determine the recommendation. The USPSTF uses this section to summarize its interpretation of important individual studies or groups of studies and to indicate how the evidence justifies its recommendations.

Recommendations of Others

This section summarizes how other organizations and professional groups have judged the use or performance of this service.


The References section at the end of the Recommendation Statement lists citations from the Statement.

Members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

This section lists members of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force at the time the recommendation was finalized. This section also mentions whether any Task Force members had conflicts of interest requiring them be recused  from deliberations and/or voting.

Current as of January 2014

Internet Citation:

Standard Recommendation Statement. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/rec_answer.htm


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