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CME: Therapeutic Updates and Best Practices in the Treatment of Schizophrenia


Program Description / Statement of Need:

In this online CME self-learning program:

Schizophrenia, by nature, presents manifold challenges to the healthcare professional directing neuropsychiatric care.  Not only do practical matters like medication adherence play a role in the success of therapy, but it behooves clinicians to also have a well-informed understanding of the symptomatology and treatment course of the disease.  Atypical antipsychotics are the mainstay of initial therapy, with oral agents being preferred first.  However, recent literature has questioned whether earlier treatment with long-acting injectable antipsychotics might improve adherence or whether other treatment modalities like behavioral intervention strategies should be stressed.  Poor patient compliance with schizophrenia medications is associated with suboptimal clinical outcomes, and improving adherence may enhance quality of life and reduce the risk of hospitalization, thereby potentially lowering health resource utilization and its associated costs.


Current guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia recommend forming a therapeutic alliance, employing not only pharmacologic treatment but also involving family and friends in cognitive behavioral therapy.  This approach may be more prevalent in initial treatments where goals are easily defined: prevent violence, control behavior, reduce psychosis, and return to baseline functioning.  However, in practice, this team approach tends to diminish as the patient becomes more stable.  Unfortunately, patients with schizophrenia tend to have a waxing and waning disease pattern.  As the support system decreases, these patients may become non-compliant and be at a higher risk of a second acute episode.  The longer these patients can be maintained on medication, the better the outcomes.


While many psychiatric healthcare practitioners may understand how to treat acute psychotic episodes, many may not be as comfortable with strategies for maintenance therapy.  Antipsychotic medications, which oftentimes represent an essential therapeutic modality, have many side effects, and therapy must be closely monitored for compliance and adverse reactions.  These detractors to optimal care may be minimized through adjunctive treatment or a change in therapy.  Additionally, therapy involving the patient’s support system should be maintained longitudinally in order to improve the odds that a patient remains in remission.


The emerging literature suggest that the healthcare professional retains a unique position in the effort to improve adherence to therapy, with different patient needs requiring different patient approaches.  Given that nonadherence to therapy does occur and that improved adherence is associated with better outcomes, it stands to reason that a practice gap exists between what is currently done, and what could provide the best outcomes in the schizophrenia patient population. 


This program has been designed to bring healthcare professionals’ knowledge of the rationale behind appropriately managing schizophrenia and encouraging adherence to therapy up to date.


Target Audience:

Healthcare professionals specializing in mental health, pediatric or adult psychiatry, or those who otherwise commonly care for patients with schizophrenia or related psychiatric diseases

Program Objectives:

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

    • Describe the challenges associated with diagnosis of schizophrenia
    • Apply existing diagnostic recommendations and criteria to practice in the management of schizophrenia.
    • Identify the treatment modalities currently available for management of schizophrenia and apply them to patient cases using evidence-based medicine.
    • Evaluate a treatment plan for a specific patient based on degree of schizophrenia to optimize safety and efficacy, suggesting modifications for improvement
    • Describe the challenges associated with treating patients with schizophrenia


    This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through ScientiaCME. ScientiaCME is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


    Credit Designation: ScientiaCME designates this educational activity for a maximum of  1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Release Date: October 22, 2012
    Expiration Date: October 22, 2014

    Faculty: Troy Moore PharmD

    Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI:

     As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.


    Faculty Disclosure: Troy Moore, PharmD has no relevent financial discloses..


    Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD is an officer and part owner of ScientiaCME, LLC. ScientiaCME has received grants from Bayer, Edwards Lifesciences, Eisai, Daiichi-Sankyo, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi Aventis, Wolf-Torey Medical.


    Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.


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    -Read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures above

    -Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowedge gained by participating in this CME activity.

    -View the on-line program. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.

    -Take the post-test

    -Complete the program evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you.

    Perform Pre-Test (optional)
    Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

    Download the Presentation (optional)


    View the online program


    Perform Post-Test

    Complete the Symposium Evaluation and Request CE Certificate

This program is supported by an educational grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.


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