What are the current recommendations for women's preventive screening?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:00 AM

College of Nursing, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque,, NM

Background:  Goals for the health of the nation are delineated by Healthy People 2020, but the Leading Health Indicators for reproductive and sexual health  are focused on unintended pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted infections, and do not address women’s overall gynecological health in any specific way.  The United States Preventive Services Task Force, created by the Department of Health and Human Services in 1984, has provided guidelines for women’s health screenings based on the best available evidence, although no specific guidelines for preventive sexual and reproductive health outside of sexually transmitted infections and cancer screening have been included.  Most recently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has published a definitive report on the Clinical Preventive Services for Women to address a full range of women’s health services, including recommendations for sexual and reproductive health care.

Purpose: This presentation will discuss the creation of recommendations for preventive health services for women, with a focus on the findings of the IOM report.

Methods:  The history of guideline development in women’s health will be presented, with a review of the standards of care of obstetrician/gynecologists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners.  How these guidelines have affected the provision of care and established standards for the provision of preventive women’s health care will be discussed.

Conclusion: Health care providers have several reference resources to guide the implementation of clinical services.  In addition to standards promulgated by professional organizations, the recommendations of the USPSTF and IOM provide an evidence-based resource for the provision of screening for women’s health.