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Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines & Recommendations

ACP's goal is to provide clinicians with recommendations based on the best available evidence; to inform clinicians of when there is no evidence; and finally, to help clinicians deliver the best health care possible.

ACP develops several different types of clinical recommendations:

  • Clinical Practice Guidelines
  • Clinical Guidance Statements
  • Best Practice Advice
  • Practice Points

Comparative Guideline Tables

Succinct summaries of recommendations from US and international organizations regarding controversial topics in screening, prevention, and management.

Acute Pain from Musculoskeletal Injuries

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Non-Pharmacological and Pharmacological Management of Acute Pain from Non-Low Back, Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adults: A Clinical Guideline from the American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Physicians (2020)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Management of Acute Pain From Non–Low Back Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials (2020)
Full text

Predictors of Prolonged Opioid Use After Initial Prescription for Acute Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies (2020)
Full text

Appropriate Antibiotic Use

High Value Care Advice

Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Respiratory Tract Infection in Adults: Advice for High-Value Care From the American College of Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016)
Full text

Patient Materials

Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Respiratory Tract Infection in Adults: Advice for High-Value Care From the American College of Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016)
Summary for Patients

Breast Cancer Screening

Guidance Statements

Screening for Breast Cancer in Average-Risk Women: A Guidance Statement From the American College of Physicians (2019)
Full text

Patient Materials

Breast Cancer Screening in Average-Risk Women (2019)
Summary for Patients

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Guidance Statements

Screening for Colorectal Cancer in Asymptomatic Average-Risk Adults: A Guidance Statement from the American College of Physicians (2019))
Full text

Patient Materials

Colorectal Cancer Screening in Average-Risk Adults (2019)
Summary for Patients

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Practice Points

(Update Alert 2, July 2020) Update Alert 2: Should Clinicians Use Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine Alone or in Combination With Azithromycin for the Prophylaxis or Treatment of COVID-19? Living Practice Points From the American College of Physicians
Full text

(Update Alert 1, July 2020) Update Alert: Should Clinicians Use Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine Alone or in Combination With Azithromycin for the Prophylaxis or Treatment of COVID-19? Living Practice Points From the American College of Physicians
Full text

(Version 1, May 2020) Should Clinicians Use Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine Alone or In Combination with Azithromycin for the Prophylaxis or Treatment of COVID-19? Living Practice Points from the American College of Physicians
Full text

Practice Points

(Version 1, June 2020) Use of N95, Surgical, and Cloth Masks to Prevent COVID-19 in Health Care and Community Settings: Living Practice Points From the American College of Physicians
Full text

Delivery of High Value Care

Best Practice Advice

High-Value, Cost-Conscious Health Care: Concepts for Clinicians to Evaluate the Benefits, Harms, and Costs of Medical Interventions (2011)
Full text (13Mb)

Patient Materials

High-Value, Cost-Conscious Health Care: Concepts for Clinicians to Evaluate the Benefits, Harms, and Costs of Medical Interventions (2011)
Summary for Patients

Depression

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Nonpharmacologic Versus Pharmacologic Treatment of Adult Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text | Video

Evidence Review:

Comparative Benefits and Harms of Antidepressants, Psychological, Complementary, and Exercise Treatments for Major Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2016)
Full text

Patient Materials

Nonpharmacologic Versus Pharmacologic Treatment of Adult Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Summary for Patients | Video

Diabetes

Guidance Statements

Hemoglobin A1c Targets for Glycemic Control With Pharmacologic Therapy for Nonpregnant Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Guidance Statement Update From the American College of Physicians (2018)
Full text

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Oral Pharmacologic Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2017)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Diabetes Medications as Monotherapy or Metformin-Based Combination Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2016)
Full text

Patient Materials

Hemoglobin A1c Targets for Glycemic Control With Pharmacologic Therapy for Nonpregnant Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (2018)
Summary for Patients

Oral Pharmacologic Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2017)
Summary for Patients

Evaluation of Pulmonary Embolism

Best Practice Advice

Evaluation of Patients With Suspected Acute Pulmonary Embolism: Best Practice Advice From the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians (2015)
Full Text

Patient Materials

Patient Summary

Generic Medications

Best Practice Advice

Improving Adherence to Therapy and Clinical Outcomes While Containing Costs: Opportunities From the Greater Use of Generic Medications: Best Practice Advice From the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians (2015)
Full Text

Patient Materials

Patient Summary

Gout

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Diagnosis of Acute Gout: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text

Management of Acute and Recurrent Gout: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Diagnosis of Gout: A Systematic Review in Support of an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline (2016)
Full text

Management of Gout: A Systematic Review in Support of an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline (2016)
Full text

Patient Materials

Diagnosis and Management of Acute Gout: Clinical Practice Guidelines From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Summary for Patients

Hematuria

High Value Care Advice

Hematuria as a Marker of Occult Urinary Tract Cancer: Advice for High-Value Care From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text

Patient Materials

Hematuria as a Marker of Occult Urinary Tract Cancer: Advice for High-Value Care From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Summary for Patients

Hepatitis B

High Value Care Advice

Hepatitis B Vaccination, Screening, and Linkage to Care: Best Practice Advice from the American College of Physicians and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017)
Full text

Patient Materials

Hepatitis B Vaccination, Screening, and Linkage to Care (2017)
Summary for Patients

Hypertension

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Pharmacologic Treatment of Hypertension in Adults Aged 60 Years or Older to Higher Versus Lower Blood Pressure Targets: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians (2017)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Benefits and Harms of Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment in Adults Aged 60 Years or Older: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2017)
Full text

Patient Materials

Pharmacologic Treatment of Hypertension in Adults Aged 60 Years or Older to Higher Versus Lower Blood Pressure Targets: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians (2017)
Summary for Patients

Insomnia

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Management of Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Pharmacologic Treatment of Insomnia Disorder: An Evidence Report for a Clinical Practice Guideline by the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text

Psychological and Behavioral Interventions for Managing Insomnia Disorder: An Evidence Report for a Clinical Practice Guideline by the American College of Physicians (2016)
Full text

Patient Materials

Management of Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Adults: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (2016)
Summary for Patients

Low Back Pain

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2017)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Systemic Pharmacologic Therapies for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review for an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline (2017)
Full text

Nonpharmacologic Therapies for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review for an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline (2017)
Full text

Patient Materials

Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2017)
Summary for Patients

Osteoporosis

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Treatment of Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis to Prevent Fractures in Men and Women: A Clinical Practice Guideline Update from the American College of Physicians (2017)
Full text | Video

Evidence Review:

Comparative Effectiveness of Pharmacologic Treatments to Prevent Fractures: An Updated Systematic Review (2014)
Full text

Patient Materials

Treatment of Low Bone Density or Osteoporosis to Prevent Fractures in Men and Women: A Clinical Practice Guideline Update from the American College of Physicians (2017)
Summary for Patients

Testosterone Treatment

Current Guidelines

Guideline:

Testosterone Treatment in Adult Men with Age-Related Low Testosterone: A Clinical Guideline from the American College of Physicians (2020)
Full text

Evidence Review:

Efficacy and Safety of Testosterone Treatment in Men: An Evidence Report for a Clinical Practice Guideline by the American College of Physicians (2020)
Full text

Patient Materials

Testosterone Treatment in Adult Men with Age-Related Low Testosterone (2020)
Summary for Patients

For more screening and preventive care guidelines, the ACP recommends visiting the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care websites. For HIV Screening and related guidelines, the ACP recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Requests for bulk reprints (minimum, 100 copies) of all guidelines published in Annals of Internal Medicine may be made to Aileen McHugh, via phone at 215-351-2642 or via email at reprints@acponline.org.