Section 8. Workgroups of the Task Force
Several standing and ad hoc workgroups are committed to ensuring that the Task Force's methods and processes are up to date and implemented consistently and transparently.
The Methods Workgroup reviews and updates Task Force methods and processes to follow best practices for guideline-setting bodies and incorporate methodological advances. This workgroup identifies issues that need further consideration, recommends the creation of new workgroups as needed to address these issues, and incorporates input from all other workgroups into Task Force methods and processes.
The Topic Prioritization Workgroup develops procedures for prioritizing the portfolio of USPSTF topics and reviews and prioritizes nominations for new topics and suggestions for reconsidering or updating existing topics from the public. It also proposes a determination of the status of all topics (active, inactive, and referred to others) and prioritization of the active queue of topics each year for consideration by the full Task Force.
The Subpopulation Workgroup assesses methods for using evidence from published studies on the differential effects of clinical preventive services within relevant population subgroups defined by race/ethnicity, sex, age, and other clinically relevant characteristics. It also suggests processes for incorporating this evidence into the Task Force's deliberations and recommendations.
The Older Adults Workgroup helps the Task Force assess the applicability of its recommendations to older adults by offering guidance on the benefits and harms of clinical preventive services at older ages.
The Child and Maternal Health Workgroup provides specialized knowledge to inform the work of the USPSTF and develop new methods and procedures for making recommendations for child and maternal health. Activities of the workgroup include publishing articles on USPSTF methods related to child and maternal health, addressing methodological issues such as the challenges of identifying meaningful health outcome measures for children and adolescents, and serving as consultants on relevant Task Force projects and topics.
The Conflict of Interest Workgroup is an ad hoc committee that reviews and updates Task Force policy on reporting and addressing Task Force members' conflicts of interest in regard to Task Force topics.
The Behavioral Counseling Intervention Workgroup makes recommendations related to the standards of evidence for behavioral counseling interventions, relevant measures and metrics, coordination with the Community Preventive Services Task Force, knowledge gaps, and other methodological issues related to behavioral counseling interventions.
The Modeling Workgroup identifies opportunities to further inform the recommendation process through the use of decision models as a complement to systematic evidence reviews.
The Dissemination and Implementation Workgroup helps the Task Force better communicate with clinicians and members of the public about its recommendations, and also writes the Task Force's annual report to Congress.
The Task Force also occasionally convenes groups of experts to advise on a particular topic. For example, the Task Force has convened groups of experts to discuss methods related to behavioral counseling interventions and prevention for older adults.
Internet Citation: Section 8. Workgroups of the Task Force. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. July 2017.