Couldn't Be Easier: A Handy Chart for Well-Woman Care

Andrew M. Kaunitz, MD


September 06, 2019

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Recommendations for women's preventive care from various professional groups can be complex and at times conflicting. The Women's Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) is a federally supported collaborative of obstetrics-gynecology, internal medicine, family medicine, nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife, and other professional societies, as well as patient representatives.

Led by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, WPSI has developed a concise chart which details women's preventive services for clinicians, regardless of specialty, and for women.[1] The Well-Woman Chart is available online and you can request printed copies.

Recommendations are divided into age intervals and also address pregnant as well as postpartum women. These evidence-based recommendations do not consider cost. The federal Health Resources and Services Administration reviews these recommendations for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

General health prevention services address alcohol, depression, obesity, and osteoporosis screening. Screening for sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis is also detailed, along with cancer screening and risk assessment for BRCA testing, as well as strategies to reduce risk for breast cancer.

As I have detailed in earlier videos, screening mammography guidelines vary substantially among professional groups, leading to confusion and controversy. The chart's recommendations regarding screening are nondirective, stating, "Decisions about screening are made on an individual basis through a shared decision-making process." This guidance appropriately emphasizes a woman and her clinician's individual preferences about when to start, how often to repeat, and when to stop breast cancer screening.

This Well-Woman Chart, which will be updated regularly, will make it easier to provide evidence-based preventive health services for women.

Thank you for the honor of your time. I am Andrew Kaunitz.

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