What is the CPSTF?

What is the Community Preventive Services Task Force’s purpose?

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) was established in 1996 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify population health interventions that are scientifically proven to save lives, increase lifespans, and improve quality of life. CPSTF findings help inform decision makers in federal, state, and local health departments, other government agencies, communities, healthcare providers, employers, schools and research organizations.

Where can I find CPSTF recommendations and findings?

Access the complete list of CPSTF reviews, recommendations and other findings and sort the list by topic, date, or finding type. You can also use the global navigation bar to select a topic from the drop down menu and scroll down to find the list of associated findings.

How does the CPSTF arrive at its recommendations?

The CPSTF bases its recommendations on rigorous, replicable systematic reviews of the scientific literature, which do all of the following:

  • Evaluate the strength and limitations of published scientific studies about community-based health promotion and disease prevention programs, services, and policies
  • Assess whether the programs, services, and policies are effective in promoting health and preventing disease, injury, and disability
  • Examine the applicability of these programs, services, and policies to varied populations and settings
  • Conduct economic analyses of recommended interventions

These systematic reviews are conducted, with CPSTF oversight, by scientists and subject matter experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with a wide range of government, academic, policy, and practice-based partners. Learn more about their methodology.

How does the CPSTF prioritize topics for systematic review?

Every five years, the CSPTF uses a data-driven process to select priority topics. Learn more about this process and review the list of priority topics for 2020-2025.

How does CPSTF address potential conflicts of interest?

The public must have confidence in the integrity of the process by which the CPSTF makes its recommendations. The reputations of the CPSTF members as highly regarded researchers, clinicians, and academic scholars contribute to this objective. CPSTF deliberations benefit from members’ vigorous exchange of perspectives that are derived from and shaped by their research and practice experiences.

Prior to each CPSTF meeting, the members disclose all information regarding possible financial, business or professional, and intellectual conflicts of interest related to topics and intervention approaches that will be discussed. Previous disclosures for continuing topics are also updated to reflect changes in a member’s situation since the last meeting. This process informs the CPSTF about other interests that could potentially influence their decision making and ensures their systematic reviews and findings are balanced, independent, objective, and scientifically rigorous. CPSTF chairs, along with CDC leaders, review the disclosures according to specified criteria and assign one of the following actions based on the nature and significance of the potential conflict.

A. No action no disclosure or recusal necessary.

B. Information disclosure to CPSTF only members may participate on a systematic review team and discuss and vote on a particular intervention approach.

C. Recusal from participation on systematic review team and information disclosure to CPSTF members may discuss and vote on an intervention approach.

D. Recusal from all participation and information disclosure to CPSTF members will leave the meeting room for all discussions and voting.

At the beginning of each meeting, the CPSTF Chair announces any recusals from all participation (i.e., level “D” actions) on specific topics and intervention approaches that will be presented during the meeting.

What are CPSTF Committees?

CPSTF members participate in one or more of the following committees: Annual Report to Congress, Health Equity, Methods, Prioritization. The committees work in consultation with CPSTF and are supported by CDC staff.