Elder Depression: Treatment Indications and Psychopharmacology for Optimum Outcomes
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Expires on Jul 08, 2026
Credit Offered
1 CME Credit
1 NCPD Credit
1 Psych CE Credit
1 COP Credit

Depression is common among the elderly but is often underdiagnosed and undertreated. At the same time, there is an inappropriate use of antidepressants within the same elderly population. Inappropriate prescribing of antidepressants can increase the risk for poor outcomes offsetting any benefit to their use. Unfortunately, clinical trials of the use of antidepressants in the elderly are underrepresented with confusing outcomes on the long-term effects. The emergence and/or treatment of dementia associated with elders’ antidepressant treatment is central to providing care. This program examines the myths, traditional practices, and evidence on the use of all antidepressants prescribed to the elderly. This program reviews the evidence drawn from systematic reviews and the evidence-based practice standards. Included is a review of dosing, adverse events, and preventative best practices on the use of all antidepressants being given to those over age 65.


Recorded webinar, non-interactive, self-paced distance learning activity with post-test.

This presentation was recorded on May 20, 2021.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain how to screen for the appropriate use of antidepressants in the elderly.
  • Discuss appropriate antidepressant dosing associated with age, liver, and renal functioning.
  • Determine the routine behavioral and laboratory follow-up and monitoring needed for maintaining antidepressant treatment in the elderly.

Target Audience

Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Pharmacist, Physician (Non-psychiatrist), Physician Assistant, Psychiatrist, Psychologist

Instructional Level

Introductory, Intermediate

Estimate Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 1.0 hour
Program Start Date: July 8, 2023
Program End Date: July 8, 2026

Ongoing Interdisciplinary Discussion Board
If there are any topics covered in this webinar that you would like to discuss with colleagues in the mental health field, post a question or comment on SMI Adviser’s Webinar Roundtable Topics discussion board (https://smiadviser.org/discussion). This is an easy way to network and share ideas with other clinicians who participate in this webinar.


How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, nursing continuing professional development contact hours (NCPD, formerly CNE), CE credit for psychologists, or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including viewing the full video and submitting an evaluation. A multiple-choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 75% must be achieved. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians), NCPD (nurses), CE certificate (psychologists), or certificate of participation (other disciplines) showing the completion date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The American Psychiatric Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. American Psychiatric Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Nurses/Nurse Practitioners

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

All financial relationships with commercial interests relevant to this activity have been mitigated.


  • Michael Rice, PhD, APRN, FAAN had been in Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nursing since 1994. He was appointed to a Professor Emeritus position at Anschutz Medical Center, University of Colorado in 2021, serves on numerous Advisory Boards, and is Treasurer for the Institute for Behavioral Health Improvement. He was co-founder of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, consults internationally in the middle east, and served as consultant to the Ministry of Health in Singapore. He was recognized as one of the TOP 15 U.S. Psychiatric Nursing Professors in 2015, one of twelve recipients of ANA’s prestigious Hildegard Peplau Award, and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Rice reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.


  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Stacy Coyle, PsyD, The Ross Center. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, University of Texas at Austin. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.  
  • Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, University of Texas at Austin. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. (Reviewed on 6/4/2023)

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  • Internet Explorer 11+

This website requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be:  Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact educme@psych.org for questions about this activity | Contact SMIadviserhelp@psych.org for technical assistance

Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.
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