By Practice and Science Directorate staff

April 12, 2012—The American Psychological Association’s Advisory Steering Committee for the Development of Clinical Treatment Guidelines is seeking nominations of individuals to serve on a panel to develop a clinical treatment guideline for obesity across the lifespan. Individuals, including those from disciplines outside of psychology, are encouraged to self-nominate and nominations from other individuals and groups are also invited. Nominees who will enhance the diversity of the development panels are particularly encouraged to apply.

The development panel will be composed of at least seven members. Members ideally serve on only one active APA guideline development panel at a time although they may serve on more than one over the course of time. The development panels will be led by a chair. The selection of the chair will be made by the Advisory Steering Committee and APA Board of Directors. The development panel can include members from disciplines other than psychology.

It is expected that the panel will take approximately two years to complete its work.

The development panel will consist of at least:

  1. Three content experts in the area of obesity 

  2. One full-time generalist practitioner 

  3. One biostatistician or methodologist

Among the content experts, a breadth of perspectives will be represented and include both experts who are primarily researchers and those who are primarily practitioners. Expertise is sought in areas related to eating behavior, diet, physical activity, health behavior change, weight loss, and medical management of obesity. Development panel members should have knowledge of treatment issues related to age (including children and older adults) and other dimensions of diversity (such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, gender, sexuality, physical and mental abilities).  

It is anticipated that development panel members will collectively have experience working with a broad range of populations and in a broad range of settings. Membership in APA is not a requirement to serve on the panel.

Background or expertise in one or more of the following areas may be useful to the panel:

  • Clinical treatment guidelines development 

  • Comparative effectiveness research 

  • Systematic reviews 

  • Experience with clinical trials 

  • Contemporary methods for evaluation of psychological and behavioral interventions 

  • Dissemination/implementation research 

  • Relevant expertise in research design and statistical analysis 

  • Experience applying clinical treatment guidelines in practice settings 

  • Experience applying evidence-based practices in clinical settings 

  • Direct provision of psychological care in diverse practice settings or with diverse populations 

  • Patient/ consumer perspective 

  • Federal agency policies and programs related to guidelines 

  • Health care systems finance or administration 

  • Public health research and applications 

  • Public and community health delivery systems

The development panel will write the guideline for the treatment of obesity based on systematic reviews of the research literature. The panel will not conduct the systematic reviews itself but will utilize existing high-quality reviews and/or develop questions to guide new systematic reviews, in collaboration with the Advisory Steering Committee and potentially other consultants.

The guideline will include treatment recommendations and indications of the strength of the evidence for each recommendation in accordance with emerging best practices in treatment guidelines development, as determined by the Advisory Steering Committee. The panel will solicit input from representatives of patient/consumer communities as it pursues its work. Progress reports will be made to the Advisory Steering Committee and the APA Board of Directors and governance groups on a regular basis.

The Advisory Steering Committee will review candidate materials and provide a final list of qualified candidates for the development panel to the Board of Directors for appointment.

Letters of nomination should clearly describe the candidate's specific expertise and qualifications related to the criteria above. Nomination materials should include a letter from the nominee indicating willingness to serve for at least two years, a brief statement of the nominee's qualifications, and a current curriculum vitae. Development panel members are expected to travel to Washington, DC, for at least two face-to-face meetings yearly and commit additional time and effort to the panel in between these meetings. Current members of the APA governance groups BPA, BSA and CAPP are not eligible to serve.

Nominations and supporting materials should be sent via email to the APA Clinical Treatment Guidelines email by June 18, 2012.

Note: Candidates not selected for this development panel may be nominated for future panels.

Additional background: