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USPSTF proposes strategies to mitigate racism in preventive care

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has proposed strategies to mitigate the influence of systemic racism in its recommendations in an effort to reduce health inequities and other negative effects of racism. These findings were the basis of two reports, published online Nov. 8, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jennifer S. Lin (M.D.), from Kaiser Permanente Evidence-based Practice Center, Portland, Oregon, conducted an audit with colleagues to define and articulate the concepts and issues surrounding racism, health inequity, and how these issues can be addressed in preventive healthcare. The authors highlight that racism as a social category can have biological consequences. Racism can be complex and pervasive. It acts at multiple levels and can have negative effects through multiple avenues. Although the USPSTF has addressed racial disparities and ethnic issues, it has not explicitly addressed racism in its reports. Supporting the USPSTF could include systematic reviews that consider interventions that can reduce health disparities through cultural tailoring and behavioral interventions.

Karin W. Davidson (Ph.D.), from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health in New York City and her colleagues proposed iterative improvements to processes, methods and recommendations for eliminating health inequities for people affected by systemic race. The USPSTF will consider the potential to reduce inequities when choosing new topics for preventive care and prioritizing existing topics; seek evidence relating the effects of systemic racism in all research plans; integrate evidence reviews; and summarize likely effects of racial or health inequities clinical preventive services in USPSTF recommendations.

Chyke Doubeni M.D., M.P.H. stated that the task force is committed “to promoting antiracism, health equity in preventive healthcare by confronting issues relating to race and racism throughout their recommendation development process, and across all facets our work.”


The USPSTF advises against COPD screening in symptomatic adults.


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USPSTF proposes strategies that reduce racism in preventive healthcare (2021, November 8)
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