The Canadian critical care nutrition guidelines in 2013: an update on current recommendations and implementation strategies

Nutr Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;29(1):29-43. doi: 10.1177/0884533613510948. Epub 2013 Dec 2.


Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are systematically developed statements to assist practitioners and patient decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific clinical circumstances, and are designed to minimize practice variation, improve costs, and improve clinical outcomes. The Canadian Critical Care Practice Guidelines (CCPGs) were first published in 2003 and most recently updated in 2013. A total of 68 new randomized controlled trials were identified since the last version in 2009, 50 of them published between 2009 and 2013. The remaining articles were trials published before 2009 but were not identified in previous iterations of the CCPGs. For clinical practice guidelines to be useful to practitioners, they need to be up-to-date and be reflective of the current body of evidence. Herein we describe the process by which the CCPGs were updated. This process resulted in 10 new sections or clinical topics. Of the old clinical topics, 3 recommendations were upgraded, 4 were downgraded, and 27 remained the same. To influence decision making at the bedside, these updated guidelines need to be accompanied by active guideline implementation strategies. Optimal implementation strategies should be guided by local contextual factors including barriers and facilitators to best practice recommendations. Moreover, evaluating and monitoring performance, such as participating in the International Nutrition Survey of practice, should be part of any intensive care unit's performance improvement strategy. The active implementation of the updated CCPGs may lead to better nutrition care and improved patient outcomes in the critical care setting.

Keywords: critical care; critical illness; enteral nutrition; evidence-based practice; guidelines; nutrition therapy; nutritional support; parenteral nutrition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic