Clinical Practice Guidelines
Clinical Practice Guidelines Steering Committee Chair
Susan C. Clinton, PT DScPT OCS WCS COMT FAAOMPT
What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?
The IOM (2011) defined clinical practice guidelines as “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options.” The foundation of the CPG is a systematic review of the evidence of a condition. The process has a major focus on the strength of the evidence by which clinical decision-making for that condition is based. The Guideline also includes a set of recommendations, based on the evidence and value judgments regarding benefits and harms of alternative care options to address patient management.
How Does a Clinical Practice Guideline Differ from a Systematic Evidence Review?
In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined a systematic evidence review as “a scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, prespecified scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the findings of similar but separate studies. It may include a quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis), depending on the available data.” Systematic evidence reviews of comparative effectiveness research to learn what is known and not known about the potential benefits and harms of alternative drugs, devices, and other healthcare services provides the best evidence to inform clinical decisions.
We are pleased to make available the published Women’s Health and Orthopaedic Section’s ICF-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines on Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Antepartum Population(.pdf). The Clinical Practice Guidelines utilized feedback from numerous reviewers, including several Section members, as this was created. The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their contribution to this important work. I look forward to working with the Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy towards online publishing of the guideline.