Well-women visits provide excellent opportunities to counsel patients about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and minimizing health risks, according to a new committee opinion from American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The revised committee opinion reflects updated guidance on components of the physical examination and new sources for well-women services. Additional ACOG recommendations and conclusions include:
- The periodic well-woman care visit should include screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunizations based on age and risk factors.
- The interval for specific individual services may differ for individual patients, and the scope of services provided may vary in different ambulatory care settings.
- Team-based care, including obstetrician–gynecologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals, may facilitate meeting the needs of preventive care for women.
- A comprehensive history is one of the most important aspects of a well-woman visit.
- Although components of a physical examination may not be required at a well-woman visit, obstetrician–gynecologists can play a critical role in engaging patients in shared decision making, encouraging and facilitating healthy behaviors, and counseling about a wide array of effective preventive health practices.
Well-woman visit. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 755. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2018;132:e181–86.