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Clinical Practice Guidelines

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The American College of Rheumatology places a high priority on developing methodologically rigorous, evidence-based, clinical practice guidelines that take into consideration the expertise and viewpoints of multiple stakeholders in a transparent fashion. Individuals and organizations interested in quality care for patients with rheumatic disease are encouraged to review the information provided on this page and provide input into ACR guideline activities as outlined here.

Clinical practice guidelines are developed to reduce inappropriate care, minimize geographic variations in practice patterns, and enable effective use of health care resources. Guidelines and recommendations developed and/or endorsed by the ACR are intended to provide guidance for particular patterns of practice and not to dictate the care of a particular patient. The ACR considers adherence to these guidelines and recommendations to be voluntary, with the ultimate determination regarding their application to be made by the physician in light of each patient's individual circumstances. Guidelines and recommendations are intended to promote beneficial or desirable outcomes but cannot guarantee any specific outcome. Guidelines and recommendations developed or endorsed by the ACR are subject to periodic revision as warranted by the evolution of medical knowledge, technology and practice.

Available ACR Guidelines

Guidelines in Progress

  • Axial Spondyloarthritis: Final publication anticipated in early 2015
  • PMR: Final publication anticipated in early 2015
  • RA Guidelines: Final publication anticipated in 2015

Opportunities for Involvement in the ACR Guideline Activities

The ACR provides multiple opportunities for involvement in its guideline activities. We encourage you to submit a topic for a possible future guideline, respond to a Request for Proposals, or provide feedback on a project protocol to help your colleagues refine the scope of an upcoming guideline development effort.

Policies & Procedures

The ACR has outlined its policies and procedures for guideline development and maintenance in the ACR Guideline Manual. These statements are intended to promote transparency and assist guideline project development groups in their work of developing guidelines that will improve the care of patients with rheumatic diseases.

Important note: Many policies and processes in this manual were approved by ACR as recently as 2011-2012; implementation of these details will be done as soon as possible for new projects starting in 2012 and may not be retroactively applied to projects that were in begun before 2012.