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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Federal Panel Says Not Enough Evidence For Universal Screening For Autism

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said that there's not yet enough evidence to show that screening all children delivers measurable benefits. 
After the push to have pediatricians give all toddlers screening tests for autism during well child visits, but the decision is sure to frustrate or anger many in the autism community.

A abstract from a statement published in JAMA on Feb 16, 2016:

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without obvious related signs or symptoms.
It bases its recommendations on the evidence of both the benefits and harms of the service and an assessment of the balance. The USPSTF does not consider the costs of providing a service in this assessment.
The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision making to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms.
Description  New US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in young children.
Methods  The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the accuracy, benefits, and potential harms of brief, formal screening instruments for ASD administered during routine primary care visits and the benefits and potential harms of early behavioral treatment for young children identified with ASD through screening.
Population  This recommendation applies to children aged 18 to 30 months who have not been diagnosed with ASD or developmental delay and for whom no concerns of ASD have been raised by parents, other caregivers, or health care professionals.
Recommendation  The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for ASD in young children for whom no concerns of ASD have been raised by their parents or a clinician.


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