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Guide to Clinical Preventive Services

The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services contains the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) External Web Site Icon recommendations on the use of screening, counseling, and other preventive services that are typically delivered in primary care settings. The USPSTF, an independent panel of experts supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), makes recommendations based on systematic reviews of the evidence related to the benefits and potential harms of clinical preventive services.

The primary care interventions reviewed by the USPSTF and included in the Clinical Guide can provide support to community interventions as health care providers are typically the gatekeepers to health services for their patients. Similarly, the community-based and health system-based interventions reviewed by the Community Guide can provide support to primary care interventions by:

  • Reinforcing health care providers' recommendations to their patients
  • Identifying effective community-based and health care system-based programs to which providers can refer their patients for additional education and support (e.g., quit lines that supplement physician smoking cessation counseling)
  • Identifying effective health system supports for health care providers (e.g., provider reminder systems)

Health care providers can also help, both in their local communities and nationwide, to support community-based efforts that assist them in meeting the public health needs of their patients and others.

The work of the USPSTF and the Community Preventive Services Task Force complement each other. Taken together, the recommendations of the two Task Forces provide our nation with knowledge of how health is improved by prevention in both clinical and community settings.

The Community Preventive Services Task Force and the USPSTF concurrently release their annual reports to Congress to demonstrate the close collaboration of the two Task Forces, and to provide a full picture of our nation's prevention research needs.