Slide 24. What the Grades Mean

Presentation describes the methods used by the US Preventive Services Task Force to develop recommendations.

What the Grades Mean

Text Description is below the image.

Grade Definition
A The USPSTF recommends the service. There is high certainty that the net benefit is substantial.
B The USPSTF recommends the service. There is high certainty that the net benefit is moderate or there is moderate certainty that the net benefit is moderate to substantial.
C The USPSTF recommends against routinely providing the service. There may be considerations that support providing the service in an individual patient. There is at least moderate certainty that the net benefit is small.
D The USPSTF recommends against the service. There is moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits.
I Statement The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of the service. Evidence is lacking, of poor quality, or conflicting, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined.

Notes:

http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/grades.htm

The USPSTF provides plain language text to explain their letter grades.

Both A and B are recommended services. Services that are not recommended are graded D and I indicates insufficient evidence to provide a recommendation. C is of particular interest because it identifies a service that is not generally recommended but may apply to an individual patient, thus, requiring the healthcare provider to make a clinical decision concerning the benefit for the individual.


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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Slide 24. What the Grades Mean. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/ppip/ppipslides/ppiplongsl24.html