Family Physicians' disagreements with the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations

S. J. Zyzanski, K. C. Stange, R. Kelly, S. Flocke, J. C. Shank, J. Chao, C. R. Jaen, C. K. Smith

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. The 1989 recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) represent an emerging consensus about which clinical preventive services should be delivered. However, practicing physicians disagree with a number of the recommendations in the Task Force prevention guidelines, and the reasons for disagreement have not been widely explored. Methods. A survey questionnaire assessing physician agreement or disagreement with the USPSTF recommendations was sent to all 1784 active members of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians in October 1990. A factor analysis was performed on the items with which at least 5% of physicians disagreed. Associations of physician demographics and attitudes with the factor scores were then examined. Results. At least 5% of the 898 responding physicians disagreed with 67 of 150 USPSTF recommendations. Physicians disagreed with the USPSTF recommendations in three ways: (1) they believed that screening for some cancers is appropriate, even though not recommended by the USPSTF; (2) they believed that screening for other diseases in some populations is appropriate, even though not recommended by the USPSTF; and (3) they disagreed with some USPSTF recommendations for screening that is considered time-consuming or intrusive. Further analyses showed that practice setting and experience with the USPSTF guidelines were predictive of all three disagreement factors. Physician age, race, residency training, and reasons for disagreement were associated with two of the three factors. Conclusions. Physician disagreement with the USPSTF recommendations was not random but clustered into three distinct factors. An opportunity exists to design educational interventions for targeted subgroups of physicians. The views of practicing physicians should be incorporated into future guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Volume39
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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    Zyzanski, S. J., Stange, K. C., Kelly, R., Flocke, S., Shank, J. C., Chao, J., Jaen, C. R., & Smith, C. K. (1994). Family Physicians' disagreements with the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. Journal of Family Practice, 39(2), 140-147.