Practice Parameters

Practice Parameters IconAACAP 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. All guidelines listed below conform to the Historical 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 or email us at

Browse the JAACAP Practice Parameter Collection

Practice Parameter Development Process (historical format)

Clinical Practice Guideline Development Process

Instructions for Committees for the Development of AACAP Practice Principles

AACAP Practice Parameters

Parameters marked with an asterisk are not considered to be current. The status of parameters under development is indicated in parentheses.

Current Parameters

Coming Soon

Historical Parameters