USPSTF: The Primary Care Clinician’s Source for Prevention Recommendations

What is the mission of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF or Task Force) works to improve the health of people nationwide by making evidence-based recommendations on effective ways to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life.

How does the Task Force help primary care clinicians and their patients?

Every time a primary care clinician sees a patient, it’s an opportunity to prevent disease and promote good health. However, knowing what the evidence says about each preventive service that could be applied to individual patients is a daunting challenge for individual clinicians. The Task Force reviews findings from thousands of scientific studies every year on a range of preventive services—screenings, counseling, and medications— and develops evidence-based recommendations that clinicians can put into practice with confidence.

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.

Why is the USPSTF the go-to source for disease prevention and health promotion guidance?

Because of the Task Force’s rigorous and objective approach, each Task Force recommendation is a trusted, valuable evidence-based resource that primary care clinicians can depend on. The Task Force follows a rigorous, multistep process for each of its more than 80 health topics, starting with a research plan that guides the review of existing evidence, resulting in a recommendation or a call for more research based on that evidence. Task Force recommendations are considered the gold standard in preventive care.

How does the make-up of the Task Force support its mission?

The Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, most of whom are practicing primary care clinicians; no one is compensated for their work on the Task Force. The external work of all Task Force members is routinely vetted to ensure they have no substantial conflicts of interest that could affect the scientific integrity of the Task Force’s recommendations.

What value does the Task Force’s work bring to primary care practices?

Task Force recommendations are backed by research and not influenced by outside or industry interests, giving clinicians the confidence that putting them in practice will help prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life. Importantly, the Task Force also flags which preventive services may do more harm than good. Task Force recommendations are valuable tools to help clinicians and patients to work together to make informed decisions about preventive care.

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Current as of May 2021