Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are "systematically developed statements to assist practitioners and patient decisions about appropriate health care for specific circumstances" (Field and Lohr, 1990, p. 38).
CPGs are typically created by health organizations (e.g., American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Stroke Association) and focus on a specific topic (e.g., a disease, condition, or treatment).
They are created using a rigorous methodology that considers the best available scientific evidence. Their ultimate purpose is to help health professionals make appropriate decisions regarding care.
Field MJ, Lohr KN (Eds). Clinical Practice Guidelines: Directions for a New Program, Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1990.