How to Read the New Recommendation Statement: Methods Update from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Mary B. Barton, MD, MPP; Therese Miller, DrPH; Tracy Wolff, MD, MPH; Diana Petitti, MD, MPH; Michael LeFevre, MD, MSPH; George Sawaya, MD; Barbara Yawn, MD, MS, MSc; Janelle Guirguis-Blake, MD; Ned Calonge, MD, MPH; Russell Harris, MD, MPH, for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
Ann Intern Med. 2007 Jun 18; [Epub ahead of print]

Since 2001, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has worked to refineits methods of evidence review and assessment and to create more usable documentsin response to clinicians' needs. These changes have resulted in a revisedgrading system, as well as a new format and new language for the recommendationstatement. This paper focuses on the changes to and the new look of the USPSTF recommendation statement. The new recommendation statement comprises 9 sections. Important changes include standardization of the format of the summary statementto specify what service is being recommended in what population; standardizationof the headings in the rationale section; a change in the wording of the grade Crecommendation and the I statement; and a new section, called "Other Considerations," in which salient issues related to cost-effectiveness, mandates,and other implementation issues are described.