Research Needs and Gaps

Stimulating disease prevention research is an important part of improving the health of all Americans. In order to do this, we need to know which areas require additional research. The activities and resources below identify prevention areas, services, programs, and policies where there are research needs and gaps.

Pathways to Prevention (P2P)

P2P workshops identify research gaps and methodological and scientific weaknesses in a scientific area, suggest research needs, and move the field forward through evidence‐based assessment. 

Insufficient Evidence

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Insufficient Evidence (I) Statements

The USPSTF makes evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screening tests, counseling about healthy behaviors, and preventive medications. However, they often cannot make a recommendation for or against a service because of a lack of evidence. When this occurs, the USPSTF issues an insufficient evidence (I) Statement.

Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) Insufficient Evidence Findings

The CPSTF provides evidence-based findings and recommendations about community preventive services, programs, and policies. If there is not enough evidence to determine whether an intervention is effective or not, the Task Force will issue an insufficient evidence (IE) finding, indicating a need for additional research in this area.

Research Priorities and Reports

USPSTF Annual Reports to Congress: Summary of High-Priority Research Gaps

The USPSTF Annual Report to Congress identifies evidence gaps and recommends priority areas for future research. These reports are meant to help researchers and research funders target their efforts, and take a collaborative approach to improving preventive health and health care.

CPSTF Annual Reports to Congress, Federal Agencies, and Prevention Stakeholders

The CPSTF Annual Report to Congress identifies evidence gaps and recommends areas that deserve further research for community preventive services, programs, and policies. The report also outlines priorities for future efforts, and provides examples of how states, local communities, and worksites have used Task Force recommendations.

National Nutrition Research Roadmap

Developed by the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR), the Roadmap guides federal nutrition research and encourages an increased focus on research that can lead to more individualized advice for promoting health and preventing disease. It suggests 120 short-term and long-term initiatives to stimulate healthy eating and nutrition research.