Current Processes: Refining Evidence-based Recommendation Development - Table 1

Table 1. Procedures for Developing a Recommendation Statementa

Activityb Responsible Parties Timeline
Topic selection Topic Prioritization Workgroup, a subset of Task Force members and AHRQ and EPC staff The Workgroup meets periodically throughout the year
Work plan development The EPC writes work plans with guidance from a topic team consisting of 3 or 4 USPSTF members and a medical officer from AHRQ From start to finish, these activities take 3-6 months
External work plan peer review Work plans are reviewed by experts in the field
Approval of peer-reviewed work planc All members of the USPSTF
Draft evidence report Evidence reports are written by the EPC or by medical officers at AHRQ, depending on the topic Typically completed within 6-24 months, depending on the scope of the topic
Peer review of draft evidence report by experts and partners All draft evidence reports are sent to a limited number of experts in the field and 6 federal partnersd for review, and Task Force leaders are asked to comment on the draft evidence report
Draft recommendation statement Task Force members draft the recommendation statement with the AHRQ medical officer Completed within 2-4 weeks
USPSTF review of evidence and vote on draft recommendation statement All members of the USPSTF  
Final evidence report The EPC or AHRQ medical officer incorporates reviewer comments and finalizes the evidence report Submitted to AHRQ within 3-6 months after the USPSTF vote
Peer review of draft recommendation statement by partners 22 partners of the USPSTF Partners typically have 2-3 weeks to review the draft recommendation statement
Approval of final recommendation statement Task Force members Task Force members typically approve the recommendation statement as final within 1-2 months
Release of recommendation statement and evidence report AHRQ staff The time from vote to release (publication in journal and posting on Web site) of the recommendation varies


  • a AHRQ = Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; EPC = Evidence-based Practice Center; USPSTF = U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
  • b Listed in order starting with the initial step.
  • c This step usually occurs at a Task Force meeting, although in the case of topic updates, work plan peer review and Task Force approval are exceptional rather than usual.
  • rd The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and Veterans Administration.

Current as of: June 2007

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