For the most up to date methods and procedures, please see https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/about-uspstf/methods-and-processes#methods.
Created in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is an independent, volunteer panel of 16 national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. Our mission is to improve the health of people nationwide by making evidence-based recommendations on clinical preventive services and health promotion in primary care settings.
The Task Force is committed to making the recommendation development process as clear and transparent as possible so that health care professionals, partners, and the American public are fully informed every step of the way. We share the USPSTF Procedure Manual with this goal in mind.
This Procedure Manual describes the methods used by the Task Force to ensure that its recommendations are scientifically sound, reproducible, and well documented. It is intended as a guide for anyone who is interested in the Task Force, Task Force members, and those who support the Task Force’s work, including staff of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and its designated Evidence-based Practice Centers.
The Manual provides a high-level description of the Task Force’s structure, governance, and processes for selecting topics, reviewing evidence, soliciting and responding to public input, and arriving at a recommendation. Researchers seeking a more detailed description of methods used to conduct a systematic evidence review may want to review the methods described on the Web site of AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program (effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov) or read the evidence reviews that are posted with each final Task Force recommendation.
It is important to the Task Force that our colleagues, partners, and the American public understand our procedures. We hope that you will find the USPSTF Procedure Manual helpful and will share it with others who may find it beneficial. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the USPSTF Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can work to improve the health of people nationwide.
Select to download print version (PDF File, 1.4 MB; PDF Help).
Table of Contents
- Procedure Manual - Home
- Section 1. Overview of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Structure and Processes
- Section 2: Topic Selection, Prioritization, and Updating
- Section 3. Topic Work Plan Development
- Section 4. Evidence Report Development
- Section 5. Modeling
- Section 6. Methods for Arriving at a Recommendation
- Section 7. Formulation of Task Force Recommendations
- Section 8. Workgroups of the Task Force
- Section 9. Engagement With the Public, Stakeholders, and Partners
- Section 10. References
- I. Congressional Mandate Establishing the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
- II. USPSTF Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form
- III. USPSTF LitWatch Process
- IV. Roles and Responsibilities of USPSTF Members Serving as a Topic Lead
- V. Work Plan/Research Plan Template
- VI. Criteria for Assessing Internal Validity of Individual Studies
- VII. Criteria for Assessing External Validity (Generalizability) of Individual Studies
- VIII. Standardization of Outcome Tables
- IX. Factors to Consider When Recommending Starting and Stopping Times for Screening
- X. Factors to Consider When Recommending Screening Intervals
- XI. Tool to Assess Adequacy and Certainty of Evidence for a Task Force Recommendation
- XII. Summary of Evidence Table
- XIII. Template for Scoping the "Decision Problem" to Address Through Decision Modeling
- XIV. Decision Framework to Assess and Guide the Need for Searches of Existing Decision Models
- XV. Specialist Expert Reviewer Nomination and Selection
Current as of April 2023
Page originally created December 2015