Maximizing Treatment Success for Patients with SMI: Promoting Adherence and Treatment Engagement
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Expires on Jul 19, 2025
Credit Offered
0.75 CME Credit
0.75 COP Credit

Large numbers of patients with serious mental illness (SMI) are not adherent to medications and treatment modalities, not only impacting their overall symptoms management but their also impairing quality of life. Less than 50% of patients with SMI continue to take their medications and adhere to their plan of care after 6 months. Non-adherence increases the risk of hospitalization, decreases recovery efforts, and extends the time in which a person will spend in inpatient facilities. It is estimated that hospitalizations due to non-adherence costs more than $100 billion a year in the United States. It is not unusual for many people with chronic SMI who do seek help to drop out from continued treatment after one or two visits. An estimated 70% of such individual stop receiving treatment due to poor interactions with their providers or lack of understanding about the need for their treatment. It is important that patients with SMI are active participants in their care with providers and the community supports in a process called shared decision making. Engaging patients in their care not only boosts adherence but also improves patients’ overall outcomes. Strategies to improve adherence to medications and treatment plans for patients with SMI will be explored in this webinar, including long-acting injectable medications (when indicated), medication strategies, and adjunctive supports.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the scope and common causes of non-adherence to recommended treatments for persons with serious mental illness (SMI) diagnoses (bipolar, schizophrenia, and treatment-resistant depression).  
  • Identify strategies to improve adherence to medications and treatment plans for patients with SMI, including long-acting injectable medications (when indicated), medication strategies, self-management, and adjunctive supports. 
  • Illustrate the processes by which patients with SMI might fully engage in optimal care and treatment, including supportive psychotherapy, therapeutic alliances, shared decision making, and family involvement in care.

Target Audience

Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatrist, Physician (non-psychiatrist), Physician Assistant

Instructional Level

Introductory; Intermediate

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 45 minutes
Program Start Date: July 19, 2022
Program End Date: July 19, 2025

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 75% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) 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.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Donna Rolin, PhD, APRN, University of Texas at Austin. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Amber Hoberg, MSN, APRN, WellBridge Hospital. Disclosure: Speaker - Teva, Acadia, and Avanir. 


  • John Torous, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Torous has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 6/16/22) 
  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Brister has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 6/23/22)

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 Web site 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 Flash, 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 for questions about this activity | Contact 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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