Preventive - USPSTF Guide

USPSTF 2009 Guidelines Summary


USPSTF methods have evolved over time. Today, the USPSTF evaluates the quality and strength of the evidence for the service, the net health benefit (benefit minus harms) associated with the service, and the level of certainty that this level of benefit will be realized if these services are provided in primary care.


This process is outlined in our Procedure Manual, which can be found at

 All recommendation are linked to a letter grade that reflects the magnitude of net benefit and the strength and certainty of the evidence supporting the provision of a specific preventive service. The recommendation is graded from “A” (recommended) to “D” (recommended against). The Task Force gives an “I” grade when the evidence is insufficient to determine net benefit. These grades translate to practice guidance for clinicians:

• Offer or provide services with “A” and “B” recommendations to eligible patients.

• Discourage the use of services with “D” recommendations.

• Offer or provide services with “C” recommendations only if other considerations

support this for an individual patient.

• For services with “I” statements, carefully read the Clinical Considerations section for guidance, and help patients understand the uncertainty surrounding these services.