APA to Develop Treatment Guidelines - Nominations Sought for Steering Committee

The American Psychological Association has initiated a process for the development of evidence-based clinical treatment guidelines for psychologists.  This is the first time that APA has sought to develop recommendations for treatments of particular disorders and conditions. 

As an initial step in the development of treatment guidelines, a six-member advisory steering committee is being formed that will include experts in such areas as clinical research, comparative effectiveness research, and services research. The call for nominations (including self-nominations) is provided below.  The deadline for submitting nominations is May 1, 2010.

This effort builds on previous APA policy statements on evidence-based practice and the evaluation of treatment guidelines that are developed by other organizations.   APA has also previously developed practice guidelines, which are distinct from treatment guidelines in that they address the conduct of clinical practice with particular populations or in particular settings but are not condition- or treatment-specific. 

The process for guidelines development will be overseen by the APA Board of Directors, Board of Scientific Affairs, Board of Professional Affairs, and Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice, and will be managed by staff in the Science and Practice Directorates.  
Questions about APA's development of treatment guidelines can be directed to Howard Kurtzman, Deputy Executive Director for Science.


Call For Nominations

Advisory Steering Committee for Development of Clinical Treatment Guidelines
American Psychological Association

At its February 2010 meeting, the APA Council of Representatives voted to approve APA development of clinical treatment guidelines and, as a first step, creation of an Advisory Steering Committee that will finalize details of the development of clinical treatment guidelines. 

The scope of the Advisory Steering Committee includes, among others (1) finalizing the process whereby APA will develop clinical treatment guidelines; (2) establishing criteria whereby clinical treatment guidelines will be identified for development; (3) formulating criteria whereby clinical treatment guidelines panels will be appointed; (4) determining the scope of clinical treatment guidelines and commissioning independent systematic reviews of the relevant empirical research so as to inform the development of evidence-based clinical treatment guidelines by clinical treatment guideline panels; and, (5) providing progress reports to the Association on a regular basis and as needed.  The Advisory Steering Committee will oversee the process, and collaborate with governance and staff as appropriate.  The Advisory Steering Committee will not write clinical treatment guidelines nor will it be charged with conducting systematic reviews. 

The Board of Professional Affairs (BPA), Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) and Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP) are seeking nominations for psychologists to serve on the Advisory Steering Committee that will oversee APA’s process to develop clinical treatment guidelines. 

The Advisory Steering Committee will be composed of six (6) members, each serving a 3-year term.  Advisory Steering Committee members can serve two 3-year terms, for a maximum of six consecutive years.  Initial terms will be staggered in length so that only two members will be replaced every year.   Initially, two members will be appointed to 2-year terms, two members will be appointed to 3-year terms and two members will be appointed to 4-year terms.

All nominees should have ten (10) or more years of professional experience in clinical practice or clinical research (or combination thereof), and documented expertise in the arena of guidelines or evidence-based treatment development or implementation.  Additionally, nominees should be nationally recognized via peer reviewed publications, professional awards, advanced credentials, or involvement in national professional organizations.  As always, nominees who will enhance the diversity of the Advisory Steering Committee are desirable. 

In addition to the qualifications above, candidates should have a strong background or expertise in one or more of the following:

  • Clinical treatment guidelines development 

  • Direct provision of psychological care in diverse practice settings or with diverse populations 

  • Systematic reviews 

  • Federal agency policies and programs related to guidelines 

  • Contemporary methods for evaluation of psychotherapy and assessment processes 

  • Experience applying clinical treatment guidelines in practice settings 

  • Experience applying evidence-based practices in clinical settings 

  • Dissemination/implementation research 

  • Health care systems finance or administration 

  • Relevant expertise in research design and statistical analysis 

  • Public health issues and settings 

  • Experience with clinical trials 

  • Comparative effectiveness research

Candidate material will be reviewed by the BPA, BSA and CAPP.  A final list of qualified candidates from which the Advisory Steering Committee will be selected will be provided to the Board of Directors for appointment.  BPA, BSA and CAPP will develop the final list of qualified candidates by attending to multiple areas of expertise, as well as experience working with diverse patient populations (across race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, class status, education, religious/spiritual orientation, and other cultural dimensions, as well as adult, adolescent and child patient populations) and within a wide array of clinical settings.

The Advisory Steering Committee will initially work closely with the Clinical Treatment Guidelines Staff Working Group (comprised of APA staff from the Practice and Science Directorates) to finalize details of the development process and address any outstanding concerns posed by BPA, BSA, CAPP and/or the Board of Directors.  The work of the Advisory Steering Committee will include: identification of priority areas for clinical treatment guidelines, development of the format for guidelines, and determination of the scope of scientific reviews needed.  The Advisory Steering Committee will work closely with governance to create guideline development panels for specific disorders.  Communication of progress and milestones to the Board of Directors and governance is anticipated on a regular basis. 

Letters of nomination should clearly describe the candidate's specific expertise and qualifications relative to the criteria provided above.  Nomination materials should include a letter from the nominee indicating willingness to serve a minimum 3-year term, a brief statement of the nominee's qualifications relative to criteria provided, and a current curriculum vita.  Candidates should demonstrate a clear commitment to translation of research into practice.  Advisory Steering Committee members are expected to travel to Washington, DC for at least two (2) face-to-face meetings yearly and commit additional time and effort to the Committee in between these meetings.  Current members of BPA, BSA and CAPP are not eligible to serve on this committee.  Self-nominations are welcome.  Nominations and supporting materials should be directed to Sheila Kerr, Governance Operations Associate, Practice Directorate via email correspondence by May 1, 2010.  

Note: Candidates with relevant expertise but not selected for the Advisory Steering Committee will be considered for participation as Technical Advisors and/or on Treatment Guidelines Development Panels.  Details on how these groups will be formed, interface and function will be finalized by the Advisory Steering Committee.