August 2012, VOLUME 130 / ISSUE 2
USPSTF Perspective on Evidence-Based Preventive Recommendations for Children
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, David C. Grossman, Roger Chou, Iris Mabry-Hernandez, Wanda Nicholson, Thomas G. DeWitt, Adelita G. Cantu, Glenn Flores, and for the US Preventive Services Task Force
Pediatrics 2012; 130:e399-e407
The development and use of evidence-based recommendations for preventive care by primary care providers caring for children is an ongoing challenge. This issue is further complicated by the fact that a higher proportion of recommendations by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for pediatric preventive services in comparison with adult services have insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the service. One important root cause for this problem is the relative lack of high quality screening and counseling studies in pediatric primary care settings. The paucity of studies limits the development of additional evidence-based guidelines to enhance best practices for pediatric and adolescent conditions. In this article, we describe the following: (1) evidence-based primary care preventive services as a strategy for addressing important pediatric morbidities, (2) the process of making evidence-based screening recommendations by the USPSTF, (3) the current library of USPSTF recommendations for children and adolescents, and (4) factors influencing the use of USPSTF recommendations and other evidence-based guidelines by clinicians. Strategies to accelerate the implementation of evidence-based services and areas of need for future research to fill key gaps in evidence-based recommendations and guidelines are highlighted.