Parameters, Updates, and Guidelines
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For 30 years, the AACAP Committee on Quality Issues (CQI) has been charged with the development of documents intended to inform clinical practice in child and adolescent psychiatry.  Since the early Practice Parameters series, the development process for these documents has become increasingly rigorous and transparent, and for the new Clinical Practice Guideline series, the development process is consistent with recommendations of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) regarding "trustworthy guidelines".  


Clinical Practice Guidelines, authored by the CQI, are intended to address the assessment and treatment of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders.  Guideline treatment statements are based upon critical systematic literature reviews contracted to Evidence-based Practice Centers by the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  The development process for each Guideline is included in the text of the Guideline.


Clinical Updates, authored by AACAP Committees and the CQI, are intended to address three topic areas: the psychiatric assessment and management of specific 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.  The Clinical Update development process can be accessed here.


Practice Parameters (now discontinued), authored by topic experts and the CQI, were intended to inform the practice of child and adolescent psychiatry in a wide variety of topic areas.  By standard convention, Practice Parameters become outdated after 5 years, as they have not been updated to reflect current knowledge and practice, and as such should be accessed for historical purposes only. 



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 Clinical Updates and Clinical Practice Guidelines and their usefulness for clinical practice. Suggestions about topics for future Updates and Guidelines are also welcome. Please direct all comments/suggestions to the AACAP Clinical Practice Department at 202.966.7300 or email us at