Psychologists encouraged to provide input on child maltreatment interventions

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is seeking comment on a draft research plan about primary care interventions to prevent child maltreatment.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is preparing to review the evidence regarding interventions to prevent child maltreatment. Recommendations derived from this review will be used by policymakers, managed care organizations, public and private payers, and quality improvement organizations, as well as primary care providers and specialists to determine care provided to the public. A draft research plan on primary care interventions to prevent child maltreatment is available for review and public comment from May 12, 2016, through June 8, 2016.

Child maltreatment is a serious health issue in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (PDF, 79KB), U.S. state and local child protective services (CPS) estimate that more 680,000 children are victims of maltreatment. In 2014, CPS received an estimated 3.6 million referrals of children being abused or neglected.

The Practice Organization encourages psychologists to provide input to USPSTF. To review the draft research plan and submit comments, visit the U.S. Preventive Services public comment page.

Child maltreatment can contribute to physical and psychological developmental issues in children. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Public Interest Directorate provides resources on understanding and preventing child abuse and neglect. Additional information is available at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway.

USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The task force works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services and preventive medications. APA is a dissemination and implementation partner of USPSTF.