Massachusetts Medical Society: Preventing Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Home Care

Preventing Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Home Care

Preventing Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Home Care

This course has expired and is available for content purposes only.

Activity Overview

Antipsychotic medications have been linked to severe side effects, including a 54% increased risk of death. However, studies have shown that there are still high rates of antipsychotic medications use for geriatric patients in long-term care settings despite the weak evidence for their efficacy in older adults with dementia.  Appropriately-used non-pharmacologic management strategies and interventions can improve the health and well-being of nursing home residents with far fewer risks than pharmacologic approaches. 

This CME addresses the common practice of over-prescribing these drugs by reviewing the evidence base for the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing home patients and providing information about the many non-pharmacologic strategies that reduce the incidence and severity of disruptive or dangerous behaviors. Increasing the knowledge of effective behavioral interventions and targeted antipsychotic medication use only when indicated will result in improved outcomes for patients.  This course was developed and jointly provided by Alosa Health ( ).

Learning Objectives:

  • Rule out any reversible medical, psychological, or environmental triggers of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
  • Identify the target problem and set a realistic treatment goal.
  • Initiate non-drug therapies and continue these in parallel with drug treatment.
  • Safely initiate an antipsychotic medication for a specific, identified behavior that is not responding to non-drug approaches.
  • Regularly reassess and reevaluate the need for ongoing antipsychotic mediation.

 Course Fees
 MMS Member Physicians: $30 ($12 per credit)
 Nonmember Physicians: $55 ($22 per credit)
 Allied Health Professionals: $24 ($9.60 per credit)

Intended Audience

The CME activity is designed for primary care physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in long-term care facilities.

Format:  Text & Graphics

CME Credit:  2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™

Accreditation Statement for Joint Providership  
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and 
policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint 
providership of the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Alosa Foundation. The 
Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for 

AMA Credit Designation Statement 
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

PAs may claim 2.5 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

A score of 70% or higher is required to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  

Activity Term
Start: May 14, 2014    
End: July 31, 2017

System requirements:

 Windows, XP, Vista, 7, 8
 Mac OSX 10.6 higher
 Most modern browsers including:
 Firefox 18.0+
 Chrome 26+
 Safari 5+
 Flash player  is required for some Online CME courses.

 iOS devices beginning with OS version 5 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices) Android devices including tablets and phones.
 Windows RT and tablets on Windows 8 are also supported.


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