Clinical treatment guidelines begin to take shape

APA has begun work to create the association’s first treatment guidelines, focusing initially on depressive disorders and obesity – health problems that affect people of all ages and from all walks of life

The treatment guidelines advisory steering committee is currently selecting members for panels that will produce the guidelines. While nominations for the depressive disorders panel have closed, there will be an opportunity to nominate your peers for the obesity panel in the coming months. You will also receive a call for submissions of potential new guideline topics in 2012.

APA is working to create new standards for clinical treatment guidelinesCurrent health care reform legislation, changes to the services psychologists provide and payment processes prompted the development of the guidelines.

In years past, APA prepared policy statements on evidence-based practice and evaluated treatment guidelines developed by other organizations. By creating its own guidelines, APA ensures that its recommendations become the standard for treating mental and behavioral conditions.

A process manual to guide the committee draws from other medical and behavioral health organization guidelines as well as recent National Academy of Sciences reports. The manual clarifies the mission, vision and principles for the committee and offers advice for choosing members for various panels that will produce the guidelines.

Working closely with the committee, each seven-member panel will oversee an independent systematic review of literature by either an outside organization or a separate office within APA. Panel members will include experts, practitioners, advocates and others from similar disciplines, each representing a broad range of perspectives and experiences.

APA is working to finalize the committee’s website. Meanwhile, please submit any questions and comments about the treatment guideline development process via email.

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