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Maximizing Treatment Success for Patients with SMI: Promoting Adherence and Treatment Engagement

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 7/19/2019

Expiration Date: 7/19/2021

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.75
  • CNE: 0.75
  • Participation: 0.75



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.


FREE - $0

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Grant No. 1H79SM080818-01 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. 

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, 2019 
Program End Date: July 19, 2021

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™, ANCC contact hours, 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), CNE certificate (nursing), 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.

Nurses/Nurse Practitioners

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

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. 


  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

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.

Hardware/Software Requierments

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. 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 Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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