Procedure Manual Appendix III. USPSTF LitWatch Process

The USPSTF LitWatch is a regular audit of information sources to locate newly published research and/or guidelines that are relevant to topics in the USPSTF portfolio. A list of included articles and guidelines is compiled in a LitWatch newsletter every 2 months and distributed to the USPSTF Scientific Director, the USPSTF Topic Prioritization Workgroup, USPSTF members, EPC staff, AHRQ Medical Officers, and other related staff.

Articles and guidelines for consideration address primary or secondary preventive interventions in the general primary care setting. Topics of interest include screening, preventive services, effectiveness of early treatment of screen-detected disease, new technologies, and methodologies for care delivery. Special attention is given to topics currently or previously reviewed by the USPSTF. Articles on vaccinations (except those for human papillomavirus or a new breakthrough), community interventions, or general review articles (except systematic reviews) are not included. Articles are considered for inclusion in the LitWatch if they meet the following criteria: 1) possible impact on past USPSTF recommendations, 2) new evidence, and/or 3) importance to a current USPSTF evidence review.

The tables of contents of the following journals are reviewed for potential articles:

  • American Journal of Epidemiology
  • American Journal of Health Promotion
  • American Journal of Preventive Medicine
  • American Journal of Public Health
  • Annals of Family Medicine
  • Archives of General Psychiatry
  • Annals of Internal Medicine
  • Archives of Disease in Childhood
  • Archives of Internal Medicine
  • Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
  • British Medical Journal
  • Canadian Medical Association Journal
  • Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Journal of General Internal Medicine
  • Journal of Medical Screening
  • Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  • Journal of Pediatrics
  • Lancet
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (The Green Journal)
  • Pediatrics
  • Preventing Chronic Disease

Guidelines issued by the following USPSTF partner organizations and other relevant groups are identified by reviewing the organization's Web pages during the last week of the month prior to distribution of the newsletter:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
  • Department of Defense Military Health System
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health (including Physician Data Query®)
  • Institute of Medicine
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Preventive Medicine
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care

Regular email updates from the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ are also reviewed for any guidelines of relevance, as well as MedPage Today for relevant news stories based on a recent publication.

Current as of: July 2017
Internet Citation: Appendix III. USPSTF LitWatch Process. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. April 2019.

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