Committee report: Method for evaluating conditions nominated for population-based screening of newborns and children

Genet Med. 2010 Mar;12(3):153-9. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181d2af04.


The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children is charged with evaluating conditions nominated for addition to the uniform screening panel and consequently making recommendations to the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This report describes the framework by which the committee approaches its task. Key decision nodes include initial review of every nomination to determine whether conditions are amenable for systematic evidence review, review of systematic evidence reviews conducted by the committee's external review group, and deliberation and formal recommendation for addition or exclusion to the uniform panel. Data analyzed include the accuracy and specificity of screening and diagnostic tests for nominated disorders, the extent of predicted health benefits, harms impact on disease course, and cost from early diagnosis and treatment. The committee process is guided by approaches used by similar entities, but more flexible criteria are sometimes needed to accommodate data limitations stemming from the rarity of many of these conditions. Possible outcomes of committee review range from recommendation to add a nominated condition to the uniform panel; provide feedback on specific gaps in evidence that must be addressed before making a decision; or rejection of a nomination (e.g., because of identified harms). The committee's structured evidence-based assessment of nominated conditions supports a consistently rigorous, iterative and transparent approach to its making recommendations regarding broad population-based screening programs for rare conditions in infants and children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees
  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neonatal Screening* / economics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States