Parameters, Principles, and Guidelines
For over 25 years, the AACAP Committee on Quality Issues (CQI) has been charged with the development of a series of documents intended to inform clinical practice in child and adolescent psychiatry. Over the next few years, the original series – known as Practice Parameters – will be phased out and replaced by two new series of documents – known as Practice Principles and Clinical Practice Guidelines. The following sections will present the current status of the Practice Parameters as well as describe the two new series of documents.
AACAP PRACTICE PARAMETERS
Practice Parameters, authored by individual AACAP experts, addressed a broad range of topics in child and adolescent psychiatry and behavioral health. Since their inception in 1991, more than 60 Practice Parameters have been published as AACAP Official Actions in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The Practice Parameter development process can be reviewed at Instructions for Authors for the Development of AACAP Practice Parameters.
By convention, Practice Parameters become outdated after five years. Links to current Practice Parameters are listed below.
AACAP PRACTICE PRINCIPLES
Beginning in 2016, the AACAP CQI launched Practice Principles - a new series of documents intended to address three topic areas: the psychiatric assessment and management of special populations of children and adolescents; the psychiatric assessment and management of children and adolescents in specific settings; and the application of specific psychiatric techniques to children and adolescents. Informed by standards of rigor and transparency promulgated by the Institute of Medicine, these documents are authored by members of AACAP committees in collaboration with the CQI. Approved Principles will be published as AACAP Official Actions in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The Practice Principles development process can be reviewed at Instructions for AACAP Committees for the Development of AACAP Practice Principles.
Practice Principles currently under development are listed below.
- Collaborative Behavioral Health Care in Pediatric Settings
Committee on Collaboration with Medical Professions
- Community-Based Systems of Care
Community Based Systems of Care Committee
- Delirium in Hospitalized Children
Physically Ill Child Committee
Foster Care Committee
- Psychiatric Assessment of Children and Adolescents
Committee on Quality Issues
- Psychiatric Assessment of Infants and Toddlers
Infant and Preschool Committee
- Psychiatric Consultation to Schools
AACAP CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES
Also beginning in 2016, the AACAP CQI launched Clinical Practice Guidelines, a new series of documents intended to address the assessment and treatment (psychopharmacological and psychosocial) of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders. Developed in accordance with standards of rigor and transparency promulgated by the Institute of Medicine, these documents are authored by the Committee on Quality Issues based upon systematic searches and critical appraisals of the extant relevant literature provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Approved Guidelines will be published as AACAP Official Actions in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The Clinical Practice Guidelines development process will be posted here when completed.
The first Clinical Practice Guidelines to be developed pending completed AHRQ reviews are listed below.
- Antipsychotic Medication
- Disruptive Behavior
- Substance Use
The Committee on Quality Issues, under the direction of co-chairs Heather J. Walter, MD, MPH and Oscar G. Bukstein, MD, MPH, welcomes comments on the AACAP Practice Principles and Clinical Practice Guidelines and their usefulness for clinical practice. Suggestions about topics for future Principles and Guidelines are also welcome. Please direct all comments/suggestions to the AACAP Clinical Practice Department at 202.966.7300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.