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Clinical Practice Guidelines

where to find clinical guidelines


Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are evidence based statements that include recommendations intended to optimise patient care and assist health care practitioners to make decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances. Clinical practice guidelines should assist clinicians and patients in shared decision making.

(Institute of Medicine, 2011)

CPGs are an important vehicle to improve care

  • Bring together the best available research evidence
  • Provide benchmarks for best-practice with the opportunity to address the variation between clinical evidence and clinical practice

Institute of Medicine. Graham R, Mancher M, Wolman DM, Greenfield S, Steinberg E, editors. Clinical practice guidelines we can trust. Washington (DC): National Academies Press, 2011; p2. 

Clinical Guideline Websites

Finding Guidelines in Databases

Many other databases also provide access to guidelines including PubMed, CINAHL and  UpToDate,.

Select a database and conduct a search on the specific condition (e.g. asthma) of interest, then in:

UpToDate - search your topic (e.g. asthma management), then scroll down in the topic contents on the left hand column and click on the Society Guideline Links section. A list of all international and Australian guidelines relevant to the topic will be displayedOr type in keywords “Australian guidelines” to list all Australian guidelines indexed in UptoDate.

OVID Medline - look below your results display and under the search button select Additional limits and go to publication types and limit results to practice guidelines.

PubMed - look under the Article Types section to the left of the results, click on the Customize link, select Practice Guideline, click Show, and then click on the Practice Guideline option that is now displaying under Article Types.

Trip - Look to the right of the results and select the Guidelines by evidence type.

CINAHL - look to the left of the results, click on Show More under the Data Limit slider, find the Publication Type box and select Practice Guidelines, and then click Search. Please access CINAHL via affiliated university libraries.