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February 21, 1996

New Prevention Guidelines Called 'State of the Art'

JAMA. 1996;275(7):505. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530310009002

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THEY'VE JUGGLED unprecedented attention, hundreds of scientific reviewers, federal furloughs, and the snowy hand of Mother Nature. Now federal health officials finally are plotting a course for distribution of clinical prevention guidelines that some experts call a "landmark document."

When the US Preventive Services Task Force set about updating its recommendations for disease and injury prevention in the summer of 1990, its report was expected for publication in late 1994. But after the 1995 Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, 2nd Edition, was issued last December, it was apparent how popular the 10-member group's work had become.

"Perhaps the task force was a victim of its own success," said Carolyn DiGuiseppi, MD, MPH, a senior policy analyst at the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, which supports the group's operations.

Its work spanned a period when prevention and practice guidelines gained novel prominence in the context of cost control