by Shushiela Appavoo

Most assume that the Canadian task force guidelines are led by content expert specialist clinicians. But this is not the case. The task force says it excludes content experts from genuine involvement in guideline development to avoid conflicts of interest. However, in the Canadian health-care context, this is not a valid argument.

by Catriona Hippman

In 2022, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care released recommendations against using a tool (the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale – EPDS) to screen for depression during pregnancy and the postpartum. These recommendations do not agree with those made by experts in B.C. and Ontario; and around the world in Australia, the United States, England and Scotland. It is important that we look closely at these recommendations and try to understand why they differ.

by Yvonne Buys

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society, which represents all ophthalmologists in Canada, recognizes the importance of guidelines but also appreciates the challenges around them. For guidelines to be effective, they need to involve a variety of stakeholders with varying expertise from the beginning to ensure inclusion of all the evidence and consideration of issues where there may not be published data.

by Laurence Klotz

The last guideline on prostate-cancer screening was published in 2014. At the time, the task force approached the Canadian Urologic Association (CUA) and asked that it provide an expert panel of “stakeholders” to provide input....We found that the task force guideline utilized only data from a small number of randomized trials and ignored scores of other relevant studies. The analysis of the studies that were reviewed was superficial and the guideline was flawed.

by Martin Yaffe

One would expect that the priority of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care on breast-cancer screening would be to recommend practices that would maximally reduce mortality and morbidity from disease. In the case of breast cancer, this suggests focusing on effective guidelines for those who are at increased probability of developing disease or increased risk of late diagnosis and the consequent higher likelihood of premature death or morbidity associated with treating advanced disease.

A collection of letters to the editor and position statements published externally on task force guidelines

Joan Murphy

Clinical lead of Ontario Cervical Screening Program

Eric Yoshida

Hepatologist and Chair of Canadian Liver Foundation Medical Advisory Committee

Chris De Gara

Bariatric surgeon, Past President, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Former Director of Bariatric Surgery Revision Clinic, Alberta Health Services

Canadian Urological Association

Position statement on prostate cancer screening issued 2014

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