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USPSTF Presents New Approach to Sex, Gender in Recommendations

Task force will use inclusive approach to identify issues related to sex, gender in guideline development; will use gender-neutral language

MONDAY, Oct. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) will use an inclusive approach to identify issues related to sex and gender in the development of guidelines in a new approach presented in an article published online Oct. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Noting that biological sex and gender identity are sources of diversity that are not often considered in studies of clinical preventive services that inform the USPSTF recommendations, Aaron B. Caughey, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues reviewed past recommendations, including use of sex and gender terms, and examined strategies to address sex and gender diversity.

The USPSTF intends to use an inclusive approach to identify issues relating to sex and gender at the start of the process of developing guidelines; assess evidence as a function of sex and gender; ensure clarity of language used regarding sex and gender; and identify knowledge gaps relating to sex and gender. The limitations of applying findings from studies that use unclear terminology regarding sex and gender to diverse groups will be examined in evidence reviews. When appropriate, the USPSTF will use gender-neutral language to communicate that recommendations are inclusive of people with any gender and will state when recommendations apply to individuals with specific anatomy associated with biologic sex or to specific categories of gender identity.

“The USPSTF intends that these new approaches for developing recommendations attuned to sex and gender diversity will improve the clarity of its statements and help clinicians and their patients make informed decisions about preventive care,” the authors write.

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