Questions about treatment recommendations?

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 62, No. 9, November 2020, Page 346 College Library COVID-19

If you’re looking for straightforward, evidence-based recommendations on diagnosis and treatment, practice guidelines may be for you. Produced by knowledgeable members of relevant fields, guidelines offer informed recommendations. They are available for a wide range of conditions and situations, including COVID-19.

COVID-19 guidelines may answer a broad scope of questions (e.g., “How do I treat a patient with COVID-19?”) or focus more on specific patient groups (e.g., “Should I take my vulnerable patients off immunosuppressants?”). Many organizations devoted to specific conditions or populations have posted new or updated guidelines on their websites covering treatment in the context of COVID-19, including for the community or hospital setting, as well as practice management.

An efficient approach to locate guidelines from multiple organizations is by searching guideline databases. Several guideline databases have created COVID-19 resource collections, allowing for easier location of COVID-19-related information. The following COVID-19 guideline databases from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom are relevant to Canadian clinical practice.

Clinical information changes quickly, especially with regard to COVID-19. It’s important to check back regularly for guideline updates.

If your guideline search does not give you the information you’re looking for, the College Library can help you with a deeper search. Contact us at
—Chris Vriesema-Magnuson


This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.

Chris Vriesema-Magnuson. Questions about treatment recommendations?. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 9, November, 2020, Page(s) 346 - College Library, COVID-19.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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