USPSTF: Insufficient Evidence for Pelvic Screening Exams

(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded that the current evidence is insufficient to weigh the balance of benefits and harms for screening pelvic examinations in asymptomatic, nonpregnant adult women. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, published online June 28 by the USPSTF.

Researchers from the USPSTF conducted a systematic review to examine the evidence for the effectiveness of pelvic examination in reducing all-cause, cancer-specific, and disease-specific morbidity and mortality and in improving quality of life.

The researchers found no direct evidence to determine the benefits and harms of the pelvic examination for screening. Limited evidence was available from eight studies on the diagnostic accuracy and harms associated with routine screening pelvic examination in asymptomatic primary care populations. The USPSTF concludes that there is currently insufficient evidence for assessing the balance of benefits and harms of screening pelvic examination for the early detection and treatment of a range of gynecologic conditions. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, which will be posted for public comment from June 28 to July 25.

“There is not enough evidence to make a determination on screening pelvic exam in asymptomatic women for conditions other than cervical cancer screening, gonorrhea, and chlamydia,” Task Force member Maureen G. Phipps, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. “Women with gynecologic symptoms or concerns should discuss them with their clinicians.”

Evidence Review
Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendation