About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and ... Released: May 09, 2017
    In 2012, the Government Accountability Office recommended that SSA examine “the availability and effects of considering more fully assistive devices and workplace accommodations in its disability determinations.” In this context, SSA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene an ad hoc, expert committee to provide an analysis of the use in adults of selected assistive products and technologies, within four categories including, wheeled and seated mobility devices, upper-extremity prostheses, hearing devices, and finally, communication and speech technologies.
  • An Evidence Framework for Genetic Testing : Health and ... Released: March 27, 2017
    Advances in genetics and genomics are transforming medical practice, resulting in a dramatic growth of genetic testing in the health care system. The rapid development of new technologies, however, has also brought challenges, including the need for rigorous evaluation of the validity and utility of genetic tests, questions regarding the best ways to incorporate them into medical practice, and how to weigh their cost against potential short- and long-term benefits.
  • Evaluation of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research ... Released: November 15, 2016
    For almost 25 years, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) has been funding medical research for health conditions that affect military service members and veterans, their families, and the general public. Congress, in response to advocacy groups and other interested parties, determines which programs will be funded and at what level each year.
  • Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014 : Health and ... Released: March 10, 2016
    From 1962 to 1971, US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam. Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991 to address whether exposure to these herbicides contributed to long term health effects in Vietnam veterans. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to request the IOM to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding possible health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam or to TCDD and other chemicals in those herbicides. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2014 is the tenth and last congressionally mandated biennial update. The current update presents this committee’s review of peer-reviewed scientific reports relevant to this question that were published between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2014, and its integration with the previously established evidence database.
  • Informing Social Security's Process for Financial Capability ... Released: March 09, 2016
    With support from SSA, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee to evaluate SSA’s capability determination process for adult beneficiaries with disabilities and provide recommendations for improving the accuracy and efficiency of the agency’s policy and procedures for making these determinations. In Informing Social Security’s Process for Financial Capability Determination, the committee presents a conceptual model for financial capability and reviews requisite abilities for managing or directing the management of benefits, methods and measures for assessing financial capability, the use of capacity assessment tools, and effects on the beneficiary of appointing a representative payee.
  • Gulf War and Health: Volume 10: Update of Health Effects of ... Released: February 11, 2016
    In response to the variety of health problems and symptoms reported by veterans, Congress passed two laws directing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review and evaluate the scientific and medical literature regarding associations between illness and exposure to toxic agents, environmental or wartime hazards, or preventive measures and vaccines associated with Gulf War service.
  • Speech and Language Disorders in Children: Implications for ... Released: January 26, 2016
    Over the past several decades, the number of children receiving SSI has risen overall, and the number receiving SSI on the basis of speech and language disorders has increased as well. The Social Security Administration requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convene a committee to identify trends in the prevalence of speech and language disorders among U.S. children and to compare those trends to changes observed in the population of children who receive SSI.
  • Assessing Health Outcomes Among Veterans of Project SHAD ... Released: January 08, 2016
    In the 1960s, close to 5,900 military personnel, mostly Navy and Marines, participated in Project SHAD—a series of classified tests of U.S. warship vulnerability to biological and chemical warfare agents.
  • Considerations for Designing an Epidemiologic Study for ... Released: December 11, 2015
    The Department of Veterans Affairs requested that the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to respond to Public Law 110-389 enacted in 2008 to determine the incidence and prevalence, as well as the risk of developing multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases as a result of service in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf and post 9/11 Global Operations theaters.
  • Mental Disorders and Disabilities Among Low-Income ... Released: September 09, 2015
    Since 1975, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has paid benefits to poor children with disabilities through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In 2013, approximately 1.3 million children received SSI disability benefits, roughly half of whom qualified primarily due to a mental disorder. In response to considerable and recurring interest in the growth and sustainability of the SSI program for children, SSA commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to identify trends in the prevalence of mental disorders among U.S. children and to compare those trends to changes observed in the SSI childhood disability population.