Position Stand Development at ACSM
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Position Stand Development at ACSM

Lynette L. Craft, Ph.D., FACSM; ACSM Chief Science Officer | Feb 01, 2017

ACSM has a long history of publishing position stand documents. The position stand is the most authoritative, evidence based statement issued by ACSM. The topics covered by these documents represent those deemed to be among the most important and contemporary for ACSM to address in sports medicine and exercise science.

ACSM Position Stands are designed to:

  • Answer specific scientific and/or clinical question(s);

  • Provide overall summaries of the literature and strength of the cumulative evidence, as of the date that the document has been issued;

  • Provide evidence based recommendations to support decision-making; and

  • Identify gaps in knowledge that can serve the purpose of stimulating and advancing further scientific activity that may advance the knowledge base.

Over the past few years, ACSM has devoted significant resources to the creation of a protocol for the development of position stands that will ensure that the contents reflect the best available science, and that the process is systematic, transparent and efficient. To that end, position stands are written per processes outlined in ACSM’s Evidence Based Protocol for Position Stand Development. This protocol statement includes identification and approval of PICO questions, a systematic review of the literature, evaluation of individual studies for freedom from risk of bias and grading the strength of the overall body of evidence. PICO refers to a paradigm for extracting answers from the health sciences literature, e.g. Population, Intervention, Control, Outcome. The position stand also undergoes multiple rounds of external peer review and internal organizational review prior to being approved by the board of trustees as an official pronouncement of ACSM and published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®


Access ACSM Position Stands