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Implementing Tools for Symptom and Functional Assessment of Individuals with SMI


This 12-week learning collaborative focuses on training the clinician to use the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Role Functioning Scale (RFS) as structured assessment tools to improve the quality of care for patients with serious mental illness. Clinicians will gain the expertise needed to administer the BPRS to assess symptoms by rating BPRS interviews of individuals with SMI and discussing their ratings in comparison to a set of “gold standard” consensus ratings. Participants will learn to use the RFS to assess daily functioning and use both symptom ratings and assessments of functioning as part of an evidence-based treatment approach for improving patient outcomes. Special attention will be placed on how to conduct these assessments remotely   as part of a telehealth approach to managed care. This course will help clinicians to develop and implement a Measurement-Based Care (MBC) model that can be incorporated into an agency’s clinical flow through the use of a symptom and functional assessment data tracking system, be useful to multiple clinical disciplines, and help improve short-term and long-term clinical outcomes. Course content will be provided that addresses the importance of equity and diversity in conducting symptom and functional assessments and in the delivery of MBC. Research will be presented that addresses racial disparities in symptom severity, assessment of functioning, and treatment outcomes. By the end of this course, enrolled clinicians will have learned how to use two structured assessments in treatment planning and how to address barriers to the routine use of these objective measurements in a Management-based Care (MBC) approach to improve mental health care decisions. 

Program Schedule 

The facilitated 12-week syllabus will be held from September 11, 2023 to December 17, 2023. No content will be released during the weeks of October 9 and November 20, 2023.  

Please note you must complete all 13 modules in order to claim credit for this course. 

Module # 

Module Opens 


Group Discussion Call (ET) 


Sep 4 

Welcome and Introduction 


Module 1 

Sep 11 

Introducing the Gold Standard Assessment of Symptoms 

Monday, Sep 11 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 2 

Sep 18 

Review of the BPRS Manual and Rating Form 

Monday, Sep 18 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 3 

Sep 25 

Rate Video #1 


Module 4 

Oct 2 

Review BPRS Rating of Video #1 

Monday, Oct 2 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 5 

Oct 16 

Review of the Role Functioning Scale (RFS) 

Monday, Oct 16 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 6 

Oct 23 

Rate Video #2 


Module 7 

Oct 30 

Review BPRS Rating of Video #2 

Monday, Oct 30 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 8 

Nov 6 

Rate BPRS Videos #3 And #4 


Module 9 

Nov 13 

Review BPRS Rating of Videos #3 and #4 

Monday, Nov 13 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 10 

Nov 27 

Components of a Measurement-Based Approach 


Module 11 

Dec 4 

Measurement-Based Care: Tracking Symptoms and Functioning 

Monday, Dec 4 @ 2-3 pm ET 

Module 12  

Dec 11 

Implementing Measurement-Based Care 

Monday, Dec 11 @ 2-3 pm ET 


Dec 17 

Program/Syllabus Ends 



FREE - $0 

Overall Learning Objectives 

  • Apply the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and interpret rating scale scores.  
  • Analyze the key domains assessed by the Role Functioning Scale (RFS) and interpret the RFS rating scale scores.  
  • Identify facilitators and barriers to implementation of a Measurement-Based Care approach to improve treatment outcome decision-making.  

Target Audience  

Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurses/Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers, Case managers, Marriage and Family Therapists 

Instructional Level 


Estimated Time to Complete 

Estimated Duration: 20.0 hours  

Program Start Date: September 11, 2023 

Program End Date: December 17, 2023 

Credit Available Until: February 15, 2024 

Note: This course has a 12-week syllabus. Credit must be claimed within 60 days of the last session.  

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. 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 date of completion and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit 

In support of improving patient care, the American Psychiatric Association is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.  


APA designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 20AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Faculty and Planner Disclosures 

The American Psychiatric Association adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CME activity — including faculty, planners, reviewers or others — are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.  


  • Joseph Ventura, PhD, UCLA, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science. Dr. Ventura has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.  


  • John Torous, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Torous has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 
  • Teri Brister, PHD, LPC, National Alliance for Mental Illness. Dr. Brister has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

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. 

Availability: On-Demand
Credit Offered:
No Credit Offered
Contains: 21 Courses
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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