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Health Care Guidelines: Preventive Services for Children and Adolescents

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Wilkinson J, Bass C, Diem S, Gravley A, Harvey L, Maciosek M, McKeon K, Milteer L, Owens J, Rothe P, Snellman L, Solberg L, Vincent P. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. Preventive Services for Children and Adolescents. Updated September 2013.

This guideline, Preventive Services for Children and Adolescents, outlines recommended preventive services, including screening maneuvers, counseling messages and specific interventions for children and adolescents of average health risk.

This guideline is intended to be used primarily by health care organizations to design systems of care for the reliable delivery of preventative services to populations of patients. The various tests included in this guideline are discussed only in the context of screening asymptomatic individuals and the early detection of certain clinical conditions; we do not address the use of these tests in patients with symptoms, or for the ongoing management of these conditions.

As far as possible, the work group has reviewed the relevant literature and reached a consensus in making our recommendations. We have also incorporated recommendations from other ICSI guidelines, as well as those of other groups, especially the United States Preventive Services Task Force (U.S. Preventive Services Task Force).

Throughout the guideline, we recommend a preference-based approach, strongly encouraging patients/parents and clinicians to utilize the principles of shared decision-making, particularly when the evidence about specific interventions is incomplete or equivocal.

For pediatric care, the majority of preventive services are often centered around well-child visits. While these visits can serve as a framework for recommended interventions, it is important to recognize that any encounter can be used as an opportunity for initiating preventive services. Because there is limited evidence for many interventions in pediatrics, those services that have direct evidence should be given highest priority. Other interventions and counseling should be done on a discretionary basis, determined by the risks and needs identified for that individual

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