The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) has released its “Fifth Annual Report to Congress on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services.”
In 2015, the USPSTF continued to fulfill its mission of improving the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screening tests, counseling about healthy behaviors, and preventive medications. These recommendations help primary care clinicians and patients to decide together whether a preventive service is right for each patient's needs.
In this annual report, the USPSTF has prioritized evidence gaps related to women’s health. Research in these areas would generate much needed evidence for important new recommendations to improve the health and health care of women in the United States.
Read the executive summary below or access the full report here (PDF File, 613 KB; PDF Help).
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services and health promotion. The Task Force comprehensively assesses evidence and makes recommendations about the effectiveness of screening tests, counseling about healthful behaviors, and preventive medications for infants, children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and pregnant women.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 charges the USPSTF with making an annual report to Congress that identifies gaps in the evidence base and recommends priority areas that deserve further examination. In its previous three reports to Congress, the Task Force identified screening tests, behavioral interventions, and preventive medications with significant evidence gaps deserving further research. Given the expected pace of research, it is too soon to expect that many of the gaps identified in the Task Force’s previous annual reports would have been addressed by research. The Task Force therefore encourages Congress to continue promoting research to address these gaps.
In this annual report, the USPSTF has prioritized evidence gaps related to women's health. Research in these areas would generate much needed evidence for important new recommendations to improve the health and health care of women in the United States.
Prioritized Evidence Gaps for Improving the Health of Women Through Research on Clinical Preventive Services
- Screening for Intimate Partner Violence, Illicit Drug Use, and Mental Health Conditions
- Screening for Thyroid Dysfunction
- Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation to Prevent Fractures, and Screening for Osteoporosis
- Screening for Cancer
- Implementing Clinical Preventive Services
The USPSTF will continue to independently evaluate the evidence on clinical preventive services to empower health care professionals, health care systems, and the American people to make informed decisions about their health and health care.
The USPSTF believes that identifying evidence gaps and highlighting them as priority areas for research will inspire public and private researchers to collaborate and target their efforts to generate new knowledge and address important health priorities.
Current as of: November 2015
Internet Citation: Fifth Annual Report to Congress on High-Priority Evidence Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. December 2016.