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Improving Antipsychotic Appropriateness in Dementia Patients


Improving Antipsychotic Appropriateness in Dementia Patients

University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
Ryan Carnahan, MD, Marianne Smith, MD, Jeffrey Reist, MD, Michael Kelly, MD, Michelle Weckmann, MD, Brian Gryzlak, MD, Susan Lenoch, MD, Mary Ann Abrams, MD, Linda Seydel, MD, Susan Schultz, MD
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 
CME available CME credits available

This website includes information and resources to help clinicians, providers, and consumers better understand how to manage problem behaviors and psychosis in people with dementia using evidence-based approaches. This includes brief lectures, written content, quick reference guides for clinicians and providers, and information for families or patients on the risks and benefits of antipsychotics for people with dementia (a.k.a. Alzheimer’s disease and others). You can also request laminated quick reference guides to use in your practice, which can help you put the strategies you learn about into action.

Educational objectives: 
On completion, the learner will be able to:
  1. List appropriate initial assessments to help determine the causes of problem behaviors or psychosis in dementia.
  2. Apply non-drug strategies to manage problem behaviors or psychosis in dementia.
  3. Assess delirium signs and symptoms using a delirium screening tool.
  4. Determine when an antipsychotic might be appropriate or inappropriate in a person with dementia, depending on symptoms and the type of dementia.
  5. Select an optimal antipsychotic for a patient with dementia based on efficacy, side effects, and patient comorbidities.
  6. Recognize antipsychotic side effects in a person with dementia.
  7. Discuss the risks and benefits of antipsychotics with patients and families using a shared decision making information sheet as a guide.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

This program is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R18 HS19355-01).

The quick reference guides were reviewed by healthcare practitioners and direct care providers during development. The family guide was reviewed by the New Readers of Iowa and Alzheimer's Association support group participants.

Viewing the videos requires a broadband Internet connection, sound capability, and one of the following supported browsers, with JavaScript enabled:

  • Internet Explorer 7 or later on Windows with Flash version 11.1 or later
  • Chrome 15 or later, Firefox 8 or later, or Opera 10.5 or later on Windows
  • Firefox 8 or later, or Safari 5 or later on Mac OS X
  • iPad 1 or later

Viewing and printing the products and the evidence-based reviews requires Adobe Reader.

Other Intended Learner Audiences: 
Estimated time to complete: 
2 hours
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: 
Yes, I (we) have conflict of interest to disclose.
Already Expired Email Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 10:57am
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - 2:57pm
Expires 6mos Email Date: 
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 2:54pm
Expired Email Date: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 - 8:32pm
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Dr. Ryan Carnahan

Suggested Citation:
Dr. Ryan Carnahan, Dr. Marianne Smith, Dr. Jeffrey Reist, Michael Kelly, Dr. Michelle Weckmann, Brian Gryzlak, Susan Lenoch, Ann Abrams, Linda Seydel and Dr. Susan Schultz. Improving Antipsychotic Appropriateness in Dementia Patients. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2012 Available from: