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.
- CPG Infobase, Clinical Practice Guidelines: https://joulecma.ca/cpg/homepage/browse-by/category/conditions/id/488
- ECRI, COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines: www.ecri.org/covid-19-clinical-guidelines
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE): www.nice.org.uk/guidance/conditions-and-diseases/respiratory-conditions/covid19/products?ProductType=Guidance&Status=Published
- ECRI and NICE, which have published the standards they use to appraise guidelines. For works without grading included, evaluation tools such as the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation Global Rating Scale may assist with critical appraisal: www.agreetrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/AGREE-GRS.pdf.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.