Prevention in clinical practice - editorial

Author: Douglas B. Kamerow
Date: Dec, 1990

AFP's series of excerpts from the 1989 report of the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force (1) concludes this month with the publication of "Postexposure Prophylaxis." (2) Since the Prevention in Clinical Practice" series began in june 1989, AFP has published a total of 25 chapters from the task force report, as well as the set of tables that summarize the task force recommendations on periodic health examinations.

According to our reader surveys, the series has generated considerable interest, perhaps reflecting the attention and controversy that the task force report. has attracted. (3-5) The task force recommendations already have been incorporated in medical textbooks, (6) and they are used as a standard for several of the recently released national health promotion and disease prevention objectives for the year 2000. (7) Last year, a national conference was held to discuss the impact of the task force recommendations, and its proceedings have just been published. (8)

A new group, the Expert Panel on Preventive Services, has been convened by the Public Health Service to continue the work of the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force. This panel has been charged with the responsibility of updating and expanding the task force recommendations as new data and technologies emerge. The panel's recommendations will be published in the medical literature periodically over the next several years.

Despite completion of the task force series, AFP will continue to emphasize the importance of preventive medicine in family practice. Now that we have recommendations from groups such as the U. S. Preventive Services Task Force as an impetus, we will focus on publishing practical, informative and authoritative articles that will help family physicians "put prevention into practice."

DOUGLASB. KAMEROW, M.D., M.P.H.

Associate Editor, AFP

Managing Editor, Guide to Clinical Preventive Services

REFERENCES

1 .U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to clinical preventive services. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1989.

2 .U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Prevention in Clinical Practice. Postexposure prophylaxis. Am Fam Physician 1990;42:1591-5.

3. Frame PS. Clinical prevention in primary care--the time is now! J Fam Pract 1989;29:150-2.

4. Spitzer WO, Mann KV. The public's health is too important to be left to public health workers: A commentary on Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. Ann Intern Med 1989;111: 939-42.

5. Smart CR. Critique of the early cancer detection guidelines of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the National Cancer Institute. Mayo Clin Proc 1990;65:892-8.

6. Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of family practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1990:1854-75.

7. Healthy people 2000: national health promotion and disease prevention objectives. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1990.

8. Frontiers in disease prevention. A national conference on the impact of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, June 5-6, 1989. J Gen Intern Med 1990;5(Suppl):S1-S139.

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