Health Supervision & Clinical Practice Guidelines

Health Supervision & Clinical Practice Guidelines

Keeping track of the most current, evidence-based guidelines can be a challenge for busy clinicians. The following guidelines are relevant to primary care of many children with special health care needs. The Diagnoses & Conditions modules in the Medical Home Portal identify key guidelines for specific conditions.

Clinical Guidelines for All Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Health supervision and clinical practice guidelines typically are developed and/or adopted by national organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), expert working groups, or other knowledgeable bodies. These organizations periodically review and update the guidelines or decide to stop using them if they are no longer the standard of care (or if resources are lacking to update them).
Cover of Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents
Health supervision guidelines provide anticipatory guidance and recommendations for pediatric health promotion at well-child visits for patients ages 0-21 years old. The AAP compiles these evidence-based standards into a comprehensive resource known as Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision, 4th Edition (AAP). The 4th edition was published in February 2017. The materials include print and electronic books as well as a free to download 2021 Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule (AAP) (PDF Document 119 KB) and Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision - Pocket Guide, 4th Edition (AAP) (PDF Document 5.1 MB).

Cover of Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines and Policies 17th ed
Clinical practice guidelines provide an evidence-based framework for clinical decisions and include recommendations for optimizing patient care. The Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines & Policies, 22nd Edition (AAP) is a book that is periodically updated and endorsed by the AAP. The 17th edition was published 2017. The book includes practice guidelines for many diagnoses ranging from autism spectrum disorder to urinary tract infections. It also contains policies ranging from addressing early childhood emotional and behavioral problems to preventing obesity.

Practice Guidelines for Children with Special Health Care Needs

AAP-endorsed practice guidelines can assist primary care providers in caring for children with special health care needs. Some of these are cross-cutting, looking at practice models to implement team-based care and patient- and family-centered medical home models, whereas others are specific to a certain medical or genetic condition.
Guidelines for specific conditions can be found in each of the Portal's Diagnoses & Conditions modules by selecting a condition name from the list and scrolling to the Practice Guidelines section of the module.
The following are particularly relevant to the overall care of the child or adolescent with special health care needs:

Resources

Information & Support

For Professionals

American Academy of Pediatrics Publications Search for Guidelines and Policies (AAP)
A search engine to identify clinical practice guidelines, health supervision guidelines, clinical reports, and other policies published or endorsed by the AAP.

National Guideline Clearinghouse (HHS)
Summaries of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for adults and children; maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Council on Children with Disabilities (AAP)
A list of policies pertaining to the care of children with disabilities; American Academy of Pediatrics.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Practice Parameters (AACAP)
Clinical practice guidelines for child mental health, which include topics such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, use of psychotropic medications, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth issues.

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Practice Guidelines (ACMG)
Screening and genetic testing guidelines and algorithms for a variety of genetic conditions.

American Academy of Neurology Child Neurology Practice Guidelines (AAN)
A compilation of practice guidelines for a variety of congenital and acquired neurological conditions affecting children, including headaches, epilepsy, concussion, cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, and sudden hearing loss.

Pediatric Clinical Practice Guidelines & Policies, 22nd Edition (AAP)
Published in 2022, this book includes practice guidelines for many diagnoses ranging from autism spectrum disorder to urinary tract infections. It also contains policies ranging from addressing early childhood emotional and behavioral problems to preventing obesity. The 22nd edition was published in 2022 and is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision - Pocket Guide, 4th Edition (AAP) (PDF Document 5.1 MB)
A uniform set of recommendations for health care professionals that highlights 12 child health topics and contains an abbreviated version for healthy child visits; American Academy of Pediatrics.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: March 2013; last update/revision: November 2017
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Jennifer Goldman, MD, MRP, FAAP