The APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy is supporting the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) as a service to its members. CPGs are one method of facilitating the translation of research into practice because they synthesize a relevant body of available research using a systematic method of evaluating outcomes for bias to answer clinical questions, and they yield actionable statements to guide pediatric PTs in clinical decision-making. The main goal of a CPG is to help clinicians determine how to deliver and document the right intervention, to the right patient, at the right time, with the right dosage.
The guideline development group (GDG) is typically comprised of 3-5 APTA Pediatrics member volunteers, with at least 1 person who holds an academic doctorate (PhD, DSc, EdD) and publication experience, 1 methodologist to guide the systematic review and guideline development, and others with clinical knowledge of the condition, strong backgrounds in evidence based practice processes, and the ability to commit regular time to the process over 3-5 years.
Topics should be based on current clinical practice issues that meet at least three of the following characteristics:
- There are variations among measures or interventions for the same problem.
- There is a large body of peer-reviewed, published research that has not been recently (or ever) synthesized. (Note that applicants are required to submit a search history and brief summary of the types of articles available to support the CPG.)
- There are guidelines available from other professions that refer to physical therapy but provide no specific guidance, but for which there is literature to inform guidance.
- There are guidelines developed prior to 2000, when evidence-based processes were not the norm, and for which an updated version using evidence-based processes may provide clinical guidance.
Those who would like to propose a topic for CPG development should complete the application; consultation with the APTA Pediatrics CPG Coordinator early in the process is strongly recommended.
Applications are due by March 1 of each year and are reviewed by a committee comprised of members from the CPG Committee and Research Committee. If the proposal is approved, the team will receive 2 days of training during the following summer on CPG development methods, and ongoing organizational support from the CPG Coordinator.
Potential applicants are advised to read through the following documents to more fully understand the phases of CPG development.
APTA Clinical Practice Guideline Process Manual. Alexandria, VA: American Physical Therapy Association; 2018.
Finding What Works in Health Care: Standards for Systematic Reviews. National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine.
Kaplan, S. L., Coulter, C., & Fetters, L. (2013). Developing Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Clinical Practice Guidelines. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 25(3), 257-270.