Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG)

What are Clinical Practice Guidelines

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are based on a systematic review of the evidence and published by APTA sections, or by other health care associations, organizations, and societies, not by individuals. Guidelines are provided to assist in clinical decision making, not to take the place of clinician judgment. 


 Development of guidelines process through APTA

The APTA assists section and academy development of clinical practice guidelines through a program that provides support and funding, including an annual CPG workshop.  APTA supports the development of CPGs to reduce unwarranted variation in care and improve the value of care. 

Proposals for a CPG are due to APTA in October and July of every year. Selected proposals are reviewed and then selected ~ 2 months later. Funding(from the APTA) is $9,000 per proposal. For more information regarding proposals contact APTA: .

CPGs in development by APTA


What clinical practice guidelines have also been written by members of the APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy? 

Currently published guidelines through Academy:
2014 publication of Oxygen:
Supplemental Oxygen Utilization During Physical Therapy Interventions
2016 version of VTE guidelines
Role of Physical Therapists in the Management of Individuals at Risk for or Diagnosed With Venous Thromboembolism: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline
Updated VTE (2022 publication)
The Role of Physical Therapists in the Management of Individuals at Risk for or Diagnosed with Venous Thromboembolism
2020 publication of Heart Failure Guidelines:
Physical Therapist Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Individuals With Heart Failure

Which CPGs are in progress?

CPGs in process:

Do you have an idea for a Clinical Practice Guideline? If so, contact Pam Bartlo (Academy Vice President) at [email protected]


Implementation of the guidelines and other practice resources: 

Pocket guides:
One mechanism to increase awareness, knowledge and use of the clinical practice guidelines is to create “pocket guides” that contain key action statements, tables and figures that are published in the CPGs, and make these accessible to our members.  The Academy of CV&P  has partnered with Guideline Central who is publishing these pocket guides. Below are the Pocket guides that are available and the link to obtain one or many copies of them.

1.     Supplemental Oxygen Utilization During Physical Therapy Interventions Pocket Guide 

  • Tables
    • Indications for Long-term Supplemental Oxygen Therapy
    • Pulse Oximetry Monitoring Considerations
    • Typical Oxygen Delivery Service
    • Methods of Supplemental Oxygen Delivery
    • Need for Supplemental Oxygen During Air Travel
    • Algorithm
    • Decision-Making Regarding Supplemental Oxygen 
To access Supplemental Oxygen Utilization During PT Interventions (Free for Academy members), click here        
Non-Academy Member Access, click here. 

2.     Heart Failure During Physical Therapy Interventions Pocket Guide

To access the Heart Failure During PT Interventions (Free for Academy members), click here
Non-Academy Member Access, click here

3.     Venous Thromboembolism Pocket Guide - coming soon! 

4.     Adult Vital Sign Interpretation in Acute Care Guide 2021 (not a pocket guide but a resource for members)Released April 2021APTA Academy of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Physical Therapy collaborated with the APTA Acute Care Practice Committee, developing a joint task force to create this new clinical resource guide. While the clinical vital signs (VS) guide is targeted for users in acute care, this resource applies to any patient with acute medical issues, as commonly presents in post-acute settings such as home health or inpatient rehabilitation. This resource addresses pharmacologic effects on vital signs, vital sign guidelines in intensive care, as well as special populations such as diabetes, acute neurological issues, chronic pulmonary disease, heart failure, oncology and more. The resource is FREE but must be "purchased" by clicking -- ACCESS TO ADULT VS IN ACUTE CARE GUIDE 2021.