Task Force at a Glance

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force works to improve the health of people nationwide.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) makes evidence-based recommendations about preventive services such as screenings, behavioral counseling, and preventive medications. Task Force recommendations are created for primary care professionals by primary care professionals.

Why Our Work Matters

The Task Force helps people of all ages do what matters most: stay healthy and live well for years to come. Its evidence-based recommendations empower patients and their clinicians to make informed choices based on what works—and what doesn’t—in preventive care. Patients can trust that the services recommended by the Task Force are beneficial to their overall health.

How We Work

The Task Force uses gold standard methods to systematically review the evidence on preventive services. The Task Force does not conduct original research studies; it reviews and assesses the best available evidence to make a conclusion about the benefits and harms of preventive services. Each step of the recommendation development process—from topic nomination to publication of the final recommendation—is transparent. We:

  • Focus only on preventive services offered in primary care settings or services that are referable by a primary care clinician and apply to patients without signs or symptoms of the condition.
  • Cover more than 80 preventive service topics for people across the lifespan.
  • Routinely update existing recommendations and develop new ones.
Related Resources   PDF Help
USPSTF: The Primary Care Clinician’s Source for Prevention Recommendations PDF, 116 KB Fact sheet that describes the value of the Task Force's work to clinicians and their patients
USPSTF: Who We Are and How We Work PDF, 870 KB Briefing packet that provides an in-depth overview on the Task Force, including processes, expert engagement, and dissemination
USPSTF: An Overview PDF, 870 KB Fact sheet that provides basic information about the Task Force
USPSTF Overview Video 2-minute overview video about the Task Force
Understanding How the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Works PDF, 2.1 MB Presentation that provides overview information about the Task Force, including processes and dissemination

How We Develop Recommendations

The Task Force has a multi-step process for how we develop recommendations from topic nomination through the publication of a final recommendation.

  1. Review topic nominations and select topics
  2. Develop a draft research plan
  3. Review public comments on the draft research plan and finalize the research plan
  4. Review the evidence and develop a draft recommendation
  5. Review public comments on the draft recommendation and then finalize the recommendation
Steps for developing recommendations

Download the USPSTF Recommendations Development Process: A Graphic Overview below for a full-sized graphic.

Related Resources PDF Help
USPSTF Recommendations Development Process PDF, 130 KB Fact sheet that describes the process the Task Force uses to develop recommendations
USPSTF Recommendations Development Process: A Graphic Overview PDF, 501 KB Graphic that depicts the process that the Task Force uses to develop recommendations
From Topic Nomination to Clinical Practice: Making a Task Force Recommendation PDF, 5 MB Presentation that provides an overview of the methods and processes used by the Task Force

How We Get Input From Others

For each recommendation, the Task Force seeks input from expert reviewers, partners, stakeholders, and the public. We routinely seek outside input to ensure our processes are transparent and the best available science is reviewed. Each audience provides valuable feedback.

  • Collaborating with partner organizations help ensure that Task Force recommendations are relevant and useful to clinicians and patients.
  • Encouraging stakeholder organizations knowledgeable about certain topics and audiences to share their expertise by submitting public comments.
  • Engaging expert reviewers, who include experts on the topic and specialists to provide input on the prevention and treatment of specific diseases and conditions.
  • Providing opportunities for public comment so the public can weigh in on Task Force materials.
Related Resources   PDF Help
How the USPSTF Gets Input PDF, 295 KB Fact sheet that describes how the Task Force collaborates with and seeks input from different groups
USPSTF and Public Engagement PDF, 516 KB Fact sheet that describes how the Task Force invites input from the public
USPSTF and Expert Input PDF, 126 KB Fact sheet that describes how USPSTF engages with experts