USPSTF and Expert Input
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that makes recommendations to primary care clinicians about preventive services.
The USPSTF works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about a wide variety of clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications. Recommendations address only services offered in the primary care setting or services referred by a primary care clinician. The USPSTF routinely invites the input of topic experts and specialists relevant to the topics being reviewed, as well as other stakeholders and the public, throughout its recommendation process. This input helps the Task Force develop effective and relevant recommendations.
Engaging with topic experts and specialists is an essential part of the Task Force's process.
The Task Force seeks input from different types of experts—including medical specialists—such as radiologists, oncologists, cardiologists, and surgeons. In addition, the teams that conduct the evidence reviews for each topic always include external content experts.
For all topics, experts are invited to review and provide input at critical points in the process.
- Topic Nomination: Experts can nominate a new topic or an update to an existing topic at any time as part of the Task Force's public nomination process.
- Draft and Final Research Plans: Content experts help the Task Force develop the analytic framework. Expert reviewers provide guidance on the key questions, populations of concern, and the research approach. Experts can also comment on the draft research plan during the public comment period.
- Draft Evidence Review and Draft Recommendation Statement: Content experts work with the team that conducts the systematic evidence review. Expert reviewers provide input on the evidence behind the draft recommendation statement. Experts can comment on the draft evidence review and recommendation statement during the public comment period.
- Final Evidence Review and Final Recommendation Statement: Content experts provide input in the finalization of the evidence review. Expert reviewers are given the option to be acknowledged in the published evidence summary.
Additional Outside Input
Outside input extends beyond individual content experts and expert reviewers. At the start of each topic, the Task Force identifies national primary care, specialty, patient, advocacy, and other stakeholder organizations with interest in the topic. This group of stakeholders is alerted to the start of the topic and invited to engage in public comment periods.
In addition, any member of the public (including patients, experts in the field, clinicians, and advocates) can visit the Task Force's Web site to submit comments on draft research plans, draft evidence reviews, and draft recommendation statements. The Task Force also invites its many partners to contribute their expertise during the public comment periods. All comments are carefully reviewed and the final materials include a summary of public comments and how the Task Force addressed these comments.
Internet Citation: USPSTF and Expert Input. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. February 2017.