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Implementing Tools for Symptom and Functional Assessment of Individuals with SMI (Spring 2020)

Activity Type:

  • On Demand Plus

Release Date: 3/16/2020

Expiration Date: 6/28/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 12
  • Participation: 12



To enroll, enter group code "Tools2" on the purchase step. Space is limited. 

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 actual BPRS patient interviews and discussing their ratings in comparison to the “gold standard” consensus ratings. Participants will learn to use the RFS to assess daily functioning and use both symptom severity and assessments of functioning as part of an evidence-based treatment approach for improving patient outcomes. This course will help clinicians to develop and implement a measurement-based care model that can be incorporated into an agency’s clinical flow through the use of a data tracking system, be useful to multiple clinical disciplines, and help improve short-term and long-term patient 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 routine use of these objective measurements to improve mental health care decisions.

Program Schedule

The facilitated 12-week syllabus will be held from March 23, 2020 to June 14, 2020.

(Periodic video conferences are scheduled on Tuesdays from 3:30-4:30pm ET)


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

  • Reliably administer the BPRS, a well-established, structured symptom assessment for serious mental illness, and interpret BPRS rating scale scores
  • List the key domains assessed by the Role Functioning Scale (RFS), a structured assessment of social relationships, family interactions, work/school functioning, and independent living, and interpret the RFS rating scale scores
  • Identify facilitators and barriers to implementing a Measurement-Based Care approach that uses symptom and functional assessments to improve treatment outcome decision-making

Target Audience

Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nurse/Nurse Practitioner

Instructional Level


Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 12 weeks; 12 hours
Program Begin Date: March 23, 2020
Program End Date: June 14, 2020
Credit Claim End Date: June 28, 2020

This course has a 12-week syllabus and is a collaborative learning experience, not independent study. 

Credit must be claimed within 14 days of the end 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

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 CME activity for a maximum of 12.0 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


  • Joseph Ventura, PhD, UCLA, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.   


  • Tristan Gorrindo, MD, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.   
  • Teri Brister, PHD, LPC, National Alliance for Mental Illness. 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 activity utilizes a variety of online resources and file types for its assignments. Please check that your device and network is compatible with the minimum requirements:

For additional technical issues or questions, please contact