Navigating the Challenges in Recognizing and Managing Psychiatric Disorders for Primary Care Practitioners
Sponsored for CME credit by Rush University Medical Center.
Presented by the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.
This activity is funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Alkermes.
Mental illness is a leading cause of morbidity in the United States, and the economic and social burden of disease is despairingly high. The large majority of patients with disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and schizophrenia are diagnosed and treated in primary care settings. Thus, primary care practitioners (PCPs), including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and pharmacists, must provide care themselves to patients with psychiatric illnesses while directing those with more complex or heterogeneous diagnoses to mental health specialists. Mental healthcare delivered by a PCP has the potential to circumnavigate a number of well-established treatment limitations: it is more accessible, less stigmatizing, and more comprehensive. Nevertheless, primary-care–based management of patients with mental illness has proven unsatisfactory due to patients’ lack of awareness about the nature of mental disorders, limited access to physicians, and insurance and payment barriers. More importantly, many PCPs have not been properly trained to treat patients with these disorders, and others lack confidence in their ability to care for this population. As a result, patients with psychiatric conditions are undiagnosed or inadequately treated, inappropriate psychotropic drugs are prescribed with little follow-up, and overall physical and mental health outcomes are poor. Overcoming the challenges facing PCPs in managing patients with mental illnesses in the community is the focus of this educational initiative. Participants will review a description of the most commonly seen mental disorders, review various drug classes and options for treatment (pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic), assess the barriers to care and ways to overcome them, as well as the clinical role of the PCP in working collaboratively with specialists.
This educational activity will enable PCPs to identify the common signs and symptoms of patients with psychiatric disorders, select appropriate pharmacologic and psychosocial treatments, discuss practical treatment strategies with specialists, and explain the benefits and risks of pharmacologic treatments with patients, family members, and caregivers.
This activity is intended for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians’ assistants, nurses, and community pharmacists. No prerequisites required.
The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CPE activity. At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:
- IDENTIFY signs and symptoms seen in common psychiatric disorders.
- SELECT appropriate treatments based on disease state and individual patient needs.
- DISCUSS practical strategies for the treatment of psychiatric disorders that empower primary care providers to initiate treatment and/or referral in a timely manner.
- EXPLAIN the benefits and risks of available pharmacologic treatment options.
Rush University Medical Center is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
Rush University Medical Center designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
ANCC Credit Designation – Nurses
The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 1.0 contact hour.
This activity is being presented without bias and with commercial support.