When you want to look up how to treat a disorder, use the broadest source that will work. I mean review articles, textbooks, and clinical practice guidelines. We usually don’t have the time or the need to read and interpret dozens of original research articles!
What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?
Systematically developed statements about clinical practice
Intended to guide decisions in specific clinical circumstances
Ideally, they incorporate input from experts, clinicians, and patients
The developers of the guidelines carefully consider the evidence and base their recommendations on this deliberation
Note: Clinical Practice Guidelines are sometimes called something else, e.g., “Practice Parameters,” or “Good Psychiatric Practice.”
Where to find Clinical Practice Guidelines
I have found that most mental health clinicians don’t know that several mental health professional organizations provide clinical practice guidelines AT NO COST! Not all the available guidelines are relevant to each clinician, but all of us can find some that are directly relevant to our practices. A selected list of guidelines from major organizations is provided below, along with direct links to the pages containing the guidelines.
Below I am providing links to some guidelines that may be of greater interest to most clinicians.
Note: Don’t feel a pressure to start reading them today! 🙂 You just need to know that they exist and to know where to find them when you need them.
Antipsychotics to treat agitation or psychosis in patients with dementia or see SPMH summary of this guideline
Note: Most of these reports are available in downloadable PDF format at no cost. The prices noted for some of them are for print copies.
British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP)
Bolea-Alamañac B, Nutt DJ, Adamou M, Asherson P, Bazire S, Coghill D, Heal D, Müller U, Nash J, Santosh P, Sayal K, Sonuga-Barke E, Young SJ; British Association for Psychopharmacology. Evidence-based guidelines for the pharmacological management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: update on recommendations from the British Association for Psychopharmacology. J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Mar;28(3):179-203. PubMed PMID: 24526134. Not available free.
Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT)
Yatham LN, Kennedy SH, Parikh SV, Schaffer A, Bond DJ, Frey BN, Sharma V,
Goldstein BI, Rej S, Beaulieu S, Alda M, MacQueen G, Milev RV, Ravindran A,
O’Donovan C, McIntosh D, Lam RW, Vazquez G, Kapczinski F, McIntyre RS, Kozicky J,
Kanba S, Lafer B, Suppes T, Calabrese JR, Vieta E, Malhi G, Post RM, Berk M.
Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) and International
Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) 2018 guidelines for the management of
patients with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2018 Mar;20(2):97-170. PubMed PMID: 29536616; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5947163. Free full-text available at:
World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry
Substance use disorders
Alzheimer’s disease and dementias
Brain stimulation treatments
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
Here are just some of the many practice guidelines available from AACAP:
Here are some AACAP practice guidelines that are “coming soon”:
- Child Custody Evaluation (update in progress)
- Language/Learning Disorders (update in progress)
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Adolescents (new parameter in progress)
Unfortunately, some of the important ones are not considered obsolete by AACAP, and so we must wait for them to be updated which will take a long time:
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Conduct disorder
- Depressive disorders
- Oppositional Defiant Disorders
- Stimulant medications
Copyright 2017, Rajnish Mago, MD. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without express written permission.
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