AACAP Practice Parameters are clinical practice guidelines developed by the AACAP Committee on Quality Issues (Co-Chairs: Oscar G. Bukstein MD, MPH and Heather J. Walter MD, MPH) to encourage best practices in child mental health. Links to the complete text of all parameters are presented below. In accordance with national guidelines, AACAP practice parameters are considered to be current if published within the past five years. Parameters older than five years (asterisked in the list below) may not reflect current knowledge and practice and as such should not be considered current until they are updated.
Parameter authors are selected by the Committee on Quality Issues (CQI) based upon their national reputation for expertise in the parameter topic area. Parameter development is an iterative process between the primary author(s), the CQI, topic experts, and representatives from multiple constituent groups, including the AACAP membership, relevant AACAP committees, the AACAP Assembly of Regional Organizations, and the AACAP Council. Responsibility for parameter content and review rests with the author(s), the CQI, the CQI Consensus Group, and the AACAP Council. The CQI is developing a new practice guideline process as part of the move to compliance with recommendations by the Institute of Medicine. The new process and guidelines under that process will be posted later in 2013. All guidelines listed below are in the current format. See Quick Links for details of the current parameter development process and other parameter-related material.
AACAP practice parameters are not intended to define the sole standard of care. As such, the parameters should not be deemed inclusive of all proper methods of care, nor exclusive of other methods of care directed at obtaining the desired results. The ultimate judgment regarding the care of a particular patient must be made by the clinician in light of all circumstances presented by the patient and his or her family, the diagnostic and treatment options available, and available resources.
The CQI welcomes comments on the parameters and their applicability to clinical practice. Suggestions about topics for future parameters are also welcome. Please direct all comments/suggestions to the Clinical Practice Department at 202.966.7300.
Practice Parameter Development Process (current format)
Clinical Practice Guideline Development Process
Instructions for Committees for the Development of AACAP Practice Parameters
Pocketcards are portable versions of the AACAP practice parameters. See the Quick Links ADHD and Depression Pocket Cards on the left hand side of this page for more information and to purchase.
AACAP Practice Parameters
Parameters marked with an asterisk are not considered to be current. The status of parameters under development is indicated in parentheses.