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    USPSTF Issues Report on High-Priority Gaps for Clinical Preventive Services

    In its first annual report to Congress, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has identified high-priority evidence gaps in 3 areas—screening tests, behavioral interventions, and clinical preventive services targeting specific populations and age groups—and highlights 11 clinical preventive services that it believes deserve further examination. 

    Included in the 11 services are screening for coronary heart disease with new and old technologies and screening for hip dysplasia in newborns. The task force also highlights the need for further behavioral research specific to counseling for obesity. As for gaps relating to specific populations and age groups, USPSTF recommends further study in screening for osteoporosis in men. 

    In addition to targeted research in the high-priority areas identified above, USPSTF notes that there are critical questions about how evidence on the effectiveness of clinical preventive services can best be implemented in primary care practices. Specifically, the task force calls for research to systematically evaluate: 

    1. How do primary care professionals incorporate new evidence to change their practice?
    2. What are the most effective strategies to assist primary care professionals in the translation of evidence-based clinical preventive services into practice?
    3. How can primary care professionals share evidence with their patients to empower patients and families to make health care decisions about prevention?
    4. How can health information technology, including electronic health records and personal health records, be utilized to increase the number of Americans receiving recommended clinical preventive services?
    5. How can the USPSTF continue to improve its work to better meet the needs of primary care professionals and their patients?  

    The report also outlines the next steps for USPSTF in 2012.


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