Nurses/Nurse Practitioners

The purpose of this website is to help clinicians, providers, and consumers better understand how to manage problem behaviors and psychosis in people with dementia using evidence-based approaches. This includes resources such as brief lectures, written content, quick reference guides for clinicians and providers, and information for families or patients on the risks and benefits of antipsychotics for people with dementia (a.k.a. Alzheimer’s disease and others). We’re offering continuing education credit for nurses and nurse practitioners. You can also request laminated quick reference guides to use in your practice, which can help you put the strategies you learn about into action. This program is supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (R18 HS19355-01).

Use the links on the right to view the videos, products, and other information available as part of this program. The information below describes the objectives, brief lectures, products, and faculty that are included in the program. Brief lectures average 15 minutes each.

This program is sponsored by the University of Iowa College of Public Health, the Iowa Geriatric Education Center, and the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Disclosure Statement

Planners and speakers involved in creating and delivering this program do not have any disclosures that create a conflict of interest.

Technical Requirements

Viewing the videos requires a broadband Internet connection, sound capability, and one of the following supported browsers, with JavaScript enabled:

  • Chrome 30+ or Firefox 30+ on Windows with Flash 16+
  • Internet Explorer 9 (or later) on Windows with Flash 16+
  • Firefox 30+ or Safari 6+ on Mac OSX with Flash 16+
  • iPad

Viewing and printing the products and the evidence-based reviews requires Adobe Reader.

CEU Accreditation

This activity is sponsored in cooperation with the University of Iowa College of Nursing, an Iowa Board of Nursing Approved Provider, Number 1. This activity will award 2.5 contact hours for nurses.

Obtaining CEU Credit

In order to obtain continuing education credit, you must view all the videos. Then you must complete the post-test and evaluation, and get at least 7 out of 10 of the knowledge-based questions correct. Then you can click on the "Request Credit" link under "Continuing Education" to fill out a brief online form and complete your continuing education credit request. Your CEU certificate will be mailed to you at the address you provide on the form when you request credit. All information you provide is kept confidential.

Learning Objectives

  1. List appropriate initial assessments to help determine the causes of problem behaviors or psychosis in dementia.
  2. Apply non-drug strategies to manage problem behaviors or psychosis in dementia.
  3. Assess delirium signs and symptoms using a delirium screening tool.
  4. Determine when an antipsychotic might be appropriate or inappropriate in a person with dementia, depending on symptoms and the type of dementia.
  5. Select an optimal antipsychotic for a patient with dementia based on efficacy, side effects, and patient comorbidities.
  6. Monitor for antipsychotic side effects in a person with dementia.
  7. Discuss the risks and benefits of antipsychotics with patients and families using a shared decision making information sheet as a guide.

Brief Video Lectures

  1. Introduction to the Training and Toolkit
  2. Assessing Behavioral Problems in Dementia
  3. Delirium as a Cause of Agitation
  4. Non-Drug Management of Challenging Behaviors
  5. Facilitating Shared Decision Making on Antipsychotic Use in Dementia
  6. Selecting Antipsychotics for Behavioral Problems in Dementia
  7. Antipsychotic Monitoring
  8. Regulatory Update


Our products were developed by experts using evidence-based information, and refined in collaboration with healthcare providers and consumers who provided feedback through interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

Mobile App
  • The mobile app contains the Pocket Guides. It can be installed on smartphones and tablets.
Pocket guides
  • Overview of evidence-based approach + evaluation of problem behaviors
  • Delirium assessment and management
  • Non-drug management
  • Drugs that may cause delirium or problem behaviors
  • Antipsychotics for dementia prescribing guide
  • Antipsychotic guide for direct care providers
Algorithm for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
  • This document focuses on assessment and non-drug management strategies for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia
Managing a crisis
  • This document provides key information for providers to consider when managing a behavioral crisis
Information for families or patients
  • Shared Decision Making Guide: Antipsychotic Medicines for People with Dementia
    • This 4-page guide can be printed and given to a family considering the use of an antipsychotic for a person with dementia, or discussed with patients who have the capacity to understand and provide consent for antipsychotic use. It overviews the possible risks and benefits of antipsychotics. It is meant to be discussed with a healthcare provider to facilitate shared decision making on antipsychotic use. The guide incorporates health literacy principles to make it readable for most consumers.
  • Managing a crisis
    • This document is the same as that listed above, but also includes contact information for the Alzheimer’s Association hotline. Caregivers of people with dementia can call this hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for information and support.


Ryan Carnahan, Pharm.D., M.S., BCPP
Associate Professor
The University of Iowa College of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology

Susan Schultz, M.D.
The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry

Marianne Smith, Ph.D., RN
Assistant Professor
The University of Iowa College of Nursing

Michelle Weckmann, M.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor
The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry

Michael Kelly, B.S., Pharm.D., M.S.
Professor (Clinical)
The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science

Jeff Reist, B.S., Pharm.D., BCPS, FASCP
Associate Professor (Clinical)
The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science

Release Dates

Date of Original Release for CME Credit: March, 2012
Date of Most Recent Review: March, 2012
Date of Next Scheduled Review: March, 2015
Estimated End Date: March, 2017

Confidentiality Statement

The Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa respects and values your privacy and the confidentiality of the information you choose to share with us. We are committed to protecting this information and will assure your privacy when participating in CME activities on our website.