Preventive care recommendations to promote health equity Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Avoidable disparities in health outcomes persist in Canada despite substantial investments in a publicly funded health care system that includes preventive services. Our objective was to provide preventive care recommendations that promote health equity by prioritizing effective interventions for people experiencing disadvantages. METHODS: The guideline was developed by a primary care provider-patient panel, with input from a patient-partner panel with diverse lived experiences. After selecting priority topics, we searched for systematic reviews and recent randomized controlled trials of screening and other relevant studies of screening accuracy and management efficacy. We used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to develop recommendations and followed the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) reporting guidance. We managed competing interests using the Guideline International Network principles. The recommendations were externally reviewed by content experts and circulated for endorsement by national stakeholders. RECOMMENDATIONS: We developed 15 screening and other preventive care recommendations and 1 policy recommendation on improving access to primary care. We recommend prioritized outreach for colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45 years and for cardiovascular disease risk assessment, to help address inequities and promote health. Specific interventions that should be rolled out in ways that address inequities include human papillomavirus (HPV) self-testing, HIV self-testing and interferon-γ release assays for tuberculosis infection. Screening for depression, substance use, intimate partner violence and poverty should help connect people experiencing specific disadvantages with proven interventions. We recommend automatic connection to primary care for people experiencing disadvantages. INTERPRETATION: Proven preventive care interventions can address health inequities if people experiencing disadvantages are prioritized. Clinicians, health care organizations and governments should take evidence-based actions and track progress in promoting health equity across Canada.


  • Persaud, Nav
  • Sabir, Areesha
  • Woods, Hannah
  • Sayani, Ambreen
  • Agarwal, Arnav
  • Chowdhury, Muna
  • de Leon-Demare, Kathleen
  • Ibezi, Somtochukwu
  • Jan, Saadia Hameed
  • Katz, Alan
  • LaFortune, Frantz-Daniel
  • Lewis, Melanie
  • McFarlane, Trudy
  • Oberai, Anjali
  • Oladele, Yinka
  • Onyekwelu, Onyema
  • Peters, Lisa
  • Wong, Patrick
  • Lofters, Aisha

publication date

  • September 25, 2023