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VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines

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VHA, in collaborations with the Department of Defense (DoD) and other leading professional organizations, has been developing clinical practice guidelines since the early 1990s. In 2010 the Institute of Medicine identified VA/DoD as leaders in clinical practice guideline development.

Implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines is one strategy VHA has embraced to improve care by reducing variation in practice and systematizing “best practices”. Guidelines, as generic tools to improve the processes of care for patient cohorts, serve to reduce errors, and provide consistent quality of care and utilization of resources throughout the system. Guidelines also are cornerstones for accountability and facilitate learning and the conduct of research. The guidelines on this site are those endorsed by VHA's National Clinical Practice Guidelines Council.

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VA DoD LogoGuidelines

Clinical practice guidelines are increasingly being used in health care to improve patient care and as a potential solution to reduce inappropriate variations in care. Guidelines should be evidence-based as well as based upon explicit criteria to ensure consensus regarding their internal validity.

The use of guidelines must always be in the context of a health care provider's clinical judgment in the care of a particular patient. For that reason, the guidelines may be viewed as an educational tool to provide information and assist decision making.

Chronic Disease in Primary Care Mental Health Military Related
Chronic Heart Failure (CHF)
Updated! Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Updated!  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
New! The Non-Surgical Management of Hip & Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
Updated! Dyslipidemia (LIPIDS)
Updated! Hypertension (HTN)
Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD)
Updated!  Obesity and Overweight (OBE)
Tobacco Use (MTU)
New! Assessment and Management of Patients at Risk for Suicide
Bipolar Disorder in Adults (BD)
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) *
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) *
Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Illness (NBC)
Updated!  Management of Chronic Multisymptom Illness (CMI)
Formerly known as Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS)
Post-Deployment Health (PDH)
* Update of CPG in Progress
Pain Rehabilitation Women's Health
Opioid Therapy (OT) for Chronic Pain
Lower Back Pain (LBP)
Post-Operative Pain (POP)
Concussion-mTBI *
Lower Limb Amputation
Stroke Rehabilitation
New!  The Management of Upper Extremity Amputation Rehabilitation (UEAR)
* Update of CPG in Progress

What's New in VA/DoD CPGWhat's New!

Sept. 2014 Hip & Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
The OA CPG recommends a framework that includes a structured evaluation and diagnosis of Veterans and Service Members who may be suffering from hip and knee OA. Additionally, the CPG provides treatment options, including pharmacological, non-pharmacological, complementary and alternative medicine, as well as options for referral for surgical consultation.
Sept. 2014 Upper Extremity Amputation Rehabilitation (UEAR)
The UEAR CPG is designed to address the key principles of rehabilitation and clinical care for patients with upper limb amputation. The overall goal of amputation rehabilitation is to optimize the patient’s health status, function, independence, and quality of life. Ongoing medical assessments and therapy interventions to address psychosocial, physical and functional limitations are necessary to achieve these desired end states.
VA/DoD Obesity Guideline Updated!
Includes objective, evidence-based information on the patient-centered approach to weight loss, the benefits and harms of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies, the management of comorbid conditions, best practices for care delivery, and emerging innovations in clinical research and care.
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CPG resources CPG resources


Evidence-Based Synthesis Program
Guide to US Preventive Service Task Force
Pharmacy Benefits Management (VA)
VHA Preventive Health

The following sites provide additional information on evidence-based clinical practice:

QUERI - VA/HSR&D Quality Enhancement Research Initiative - which works to improve the quality of health care for veterans by implementing research findings into routine practice
Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) - is an evidence-based program that focuses on the gathering and analyses of data that is used to form VA policy as well as clinical practice guidelines

VA ESP Report on Assessment and Treatment of Individuals with a History of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Evidence

VA ESP Report on Determining the Responsiveness of Depression Questionnaires and Optimal Treatment Duration for Antidepressant Medications

National Guideline Clearinghouse* is a public resource for disseminating evidence-based clinical practice guidelines
MyHealthE Vet is the VA on-line personal health record that allows veterans to access their own health information as well as a wealth of patient education materials
U.S. Army Medical Command, Quality Management Office* is the world-wide contact point for clinical guidelines used by all branches of the service.

* Links will take you outside the VA/DoD CPG web site. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for content on the linked sites.