Clinical Practice Resources

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG)

The IOM (2011) defined clinical practice guidelines as “statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options.”  The foundation of the CPG is a systematic review of the evidence of a condition.

The process has a major focus on the strength of the evidence by which clinical decision-making for that condition is based.  The Guideline also includes a set of recommendations, based on the evidence and value judgments regarding benefits and harms of alternative care options to address patient management.

Clinical Practice Guidelines Steering Committee

Clinical Practice Guideline vs. Systematic Evidence Review

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined a systematic evidence review as “a scientific investigation that focuses on a specific question and uses explicit, prespecified scientific methods to identify, select, assess, and summarize the findings of similar but separate studies. It may include a quantitative synthesis (meta-analysis), depending on the available data.” Systematic evidence reviews of comparative effectiveness research to learn what is known and not known about the potential benefits and harms of alternative drugs, devices, and other healthcare services provides the best evidence to inform clinical decisions.

Published CPG

Women’s Health and Orthopaedic Section’s ICF-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines on Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Antepartum Population
Susan C. Clinton , PT, DScPT, OCS, Board-Certified Women's Health Clinical Specialist, FAAOMPT, Alaina Newell , PT, DPT, Board-Certified Women's Health Clinical Specialist, CLT-LANA, Patricia A. Downey , PT, PhD, DPT, Kimberly Ferreira , PT, PhD, MSPT

The creations of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is a crucial process for examining and maintaining the validity of recommendations, as well as provide classification and definition using the International Classifi cation of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) terminology related to impairment of body function, structure, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.

CPG Development In Progress
If you wish to pitch a CPG topic, please contact our CPG steering committee at

  • Functional Lower Gastrointestinal Disorders: Constipation
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Adult Inflammatory Bowel Disease, PT, & Exercise CPG Referral, Evaluation, and Interventions
  • Pelvic Girdle Pain in the Postpartum Population
  • Pelvic Girdle pain in the Antepartum Population
  • Physical Therapy Intervention for Adult Women with Urinary Incontinence

Position Statements

Position statements provided by the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy articulate the association’s official position or belief about certain clinical practice topics.

Position Statement

Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Education
January 2021

The Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy (APTA Pelvic Health) invites Physical Therapist Assistants (PTA) to participate in the continuing education courses in the pelvic and pregnancy series (CAPP, or Certificate of Achievement in Pelvic/ Pregnancy). Participation for PTAs will include successful completion of lab skills testing and written examinations. Currently, the “CAPP” designation may only be achieved by PTs. While PTAs are encouraged to attend the CAPP courses, the CAPP designation remains for the practitioners(PTs) who will perform evaluative activities with patients/clients…

Position Statement

Internal Physical Therapy Pelvic Examinations and Interventions
January 2021

APTA Pelvic Health, an academy of the American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy (APTA Pelvic Health) of APTA supports examination and intervention by licensed physical therapists in the management of individuals with pelvic dysfunctions…


Use of Chaperones During Physical Exams
December 2013

There have been a number of questions from members on whether a second person in the room is required during pelvic floor muscle exams. APTA and the Academy of Pelvic Health Physical Therapy do not have a policy regarding second person in the room during pelvic floor muscle exams and treatment. This information contains questions/issues that we have received from our colleagues that practice in a variety of settings, APTA’s Departments of Reimbursement, Practice, and Risk Management and Member Services as well as statements/guidelines from the AMA and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).


Risk Management 101
December 2013

In the healthcare environment, physical therapy professionals are finding new ways to expand their services to meet identified patient care needs, including opportunities within the area of women’s health. Most physical therapy professional liability policies, including the one endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association and administered by Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO), are designed to cover a Physical Therapist for medical incidents that arise from the performance of professional services falling within the scope of the physical therapist’s state practice act. What is important from a risk management perspective is that Physical Therapists research and understand what they can and cannot do before entering new areas of practice, and what constitutes the provision of a professional service versus the provision of a more general health-related service (e.g. a general fitness/wellness type of service). They should be certain that they are operating within the scope of the practice act in the state(s) in which they are licensed, and consider carefully whether or not their scope of personal competence is compatible with the type of services they will provide…


Documentation 101

One of the easily forgotten elements of professionalism is documentation! Attention to the mundane task of recording the elements of your treatment approach with clarity and consistency both protects your revenue source and can assist in reducing your litigious risk. We answer the following questions:

  • How do I ensure that I am documenting skilled care?
  • How do I document medical necessity?
  • What is the best way to demonstrate best practice in a note?
  • How do I document meaning and functional progress?