Finding Practice Guidelines

Every major K-12, college and professional sport is worried about head injuries these days.  But who is looking out for the poor cheerleader, dropped on her head by a wobbly human pyramid?

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council On Sports Medicine And Fitness, that’s who! Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention provides guidelines for professionals.

There are many good sources for Guidelines.  For videos demonstrating the following search strategies, see the Guidelines section of the Searching for Evidence Based Information Resource Guide. Don’t forget to Ask Us! if you would like librarian assistance in locating a guideline or learning more about the following resources. 

To locate new guidelines via PubMed use a keyword describing the condition, disease or population and the terms guideline or guidelines.   For example: Cheerleading and (guideline or guidelines)

Be sure to group guideline or guidelines in parentheses so that PubMed can process those terms properly.

Search Google Scholar for a guideline you know has been shared in a published conference proceeding or in a journal.  Open the drop down advanced search to search for either all of your terms OR at least one of your terms in the title of the article.  Limit to recent years – most guidelines are out of date within 3-5 years or sooner.

National Guideline Clearinghouse offers many options for searching for guidelines and viewing side by side comparisons or viewing sytheses –

  • Basic keyword searches can be sorted by relevance and limited to specific years
  • Advanced searches can be filtered by:
    • Focus on disease, treatment or health services administration
    • Special populations
    • Clinical specialty, creating organization,  or organization type
    • Method and process used in creating guidelines
    • Audience, type of guideline, IOM care category or domain
    • Years
  • Topic, organization or index (scroll past the news and announcements on the home page for links)
  • Mobile resources

MDConsult offers a Guidelines section.  The section organizes guidelines A-Z, by topic, and by organization.  You can search all sections for a keyword like cheerleading and find materials related to injuries in books, journals or Clinics, and other sections of MDConsult.

NursingConsult also offers a Guidelines section with topics of interest to nurses and nursing students.

Dynamed incorporates guidelines in the Treatment Recommendations included in chapters on conditions and disease.  There is also a Guidelines and Resources section for each chapter, linking to guidelines from major organizations from around the world.

Searching Google for a specific type of guideline can be quite efficient and effective.  Google is especially useful for a guideline that is published web-only.  Follow these tips for googling for a guideline:

  • Include a disease or condition term in the search strategy
  • Include the organization name in the search
  • Include the word guideline – because of Google’s automatic “stemming” of root words, results will include the plural form of the word
  • Include additional terms that might help refine your results, for example cheerleading injury guideline

Guidelines are fairly easily found, although it occasionally requires some persistence and consulting more than one resource to get the job done!

[Lynne M. Fox, Education Librarian]