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Clinical Practice Guidelines: Finding

This is a guide to help students and faculty find clinical practice guidelines.

Where to Start

Many different organizations develop, collect, and disseminate CPGs. These organizations include local, regional, national or, international groups, governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Going directly to the websites for one of these groups in your area of interest is a great place to start.


In response to the demise of, TRIP Database positioned itself to be a primary vehicle for finding guidelines. You can read their blog posts about their position and process.

TRIP is a subscription-based web crawler, but offers access to guidelines as part of its free service.

Discrete Repositories

Your employer may maintain its own repository of guidelines pertaining to the primary practice area. These may be guidelines they have developed, or from other sources.

Take a look at the CPGs maintained by the VA.


Many health centers and institutes will compile and/or create and disseminate their own CPGs. See the examples below:

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

National Health Care for the Homeless Council

In the Databases

Many health-related databases collect guidelines. Generally, users can limit to guidelines as a publication type, or search directly for guidelines using a subject heading or MeSH term.

  • PubMed: limit to publication type "Guideline," or use "Practice Guideline"[pt] in your search
  • CINAHL: Use MH "practice guidelines" in your search

ECRI Guidelines Trust

About ECRI Guideline Trust:

  • Publicly-available CPG repository
  • Users must register to access the guidelines, but registration is free
  • Funded with the help of the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
  • Non-profit healthcare research institute


Individual associations develop and maintain their own guidelines. Generally, these guidelines are freely available, even if you are not a member of the association. See the examples below:

American Dental Association

The American Heart Association

American Diabetes Association

American Association of Neuroscience Nurses

Registered Nurses Association of Ontario

National Guidelines Clearinghouse from AHRQ

Historically, the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) worked with a third-party contractor, ECRI, to produce CPGs. served as the clearinghouse for Federal guidelines through AHRQ until 7/16/2018 when it was no longer funded. You can find archived versions of existing guidelines in the following places:

Please note, the further we move from the end date of 7/16/2018, the less relevant the included guidelines will become.

AHRQ housed some CPGs, but no longer makes them available on its website.