CME Corner

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Program Detail

Program Title

Virtual Meeting: Managing Geriatric Depression in the Context of Comorbid Illness
Release Date: November-01-03
Credit Expiration Date: November-30-05


K. Ranga Rama Krishnan, MB, ChB, Chairman and Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Affective Disorders Program
Duke University
Durham, NC

Sean M. Jeffery, PharmD
Assistant Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of Connecticut
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Geriatrics
Connecticut VA Healthcare System
West Haven, CT

Credit Hours

1 (physician/pharmacist)
1.2 (nurse)


Online Presentation

Program Description

Depression is common among the elderly, occurring frequently in the long-term care setting. Geriatric depression causes significant morbidity and, because of the relationship with comorbid illness, an increased risk of mortality. As the population of those over age 85 increases, the research effort focused on treating depression in the elderly is expanding. Completed studies and others currently underway assess the safety and efficacy of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications in the elderly. The results of this research help clinicians understand the differences in drug-drug interactions, side effect profiles, and response rates in this vulnerable population compared with younger adults.

Psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) also play a role in the management of depression in the late-life population. Psychosocial intervention should be considered as part of a treatment plan. ECT remains a “gold standard” for treating severe major depressive disorder and is especially suited for elderly populations because of their sensitivity to medication and frequent polypharmacy.

This program will review the presentation and prevalence of depression in the elderly, as well as the medical illnesses that are frequently comorbid with depression. Antidepressant agents will be evaluated with regard to polypharmacy and medical illness issues common in the late-life population. The role of ECT and psychotherapy will be presented and case studies will be discussed in a problem-based format.

Program Developer/Facilitator


Target Audience

Long-term care medical directors, consultant and VA pharmacists, and long-term care nurses with an interest in the management of depression in the elderly.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, the participant should be able to:

  1. Recognize depression in the context of medical illness and aging
  2. Understand the impact of depression and anxiety disorders on comorbidity and mortality
  3. Identify the illnesses frequently comorbid with depression in the elderly
  4. Recommend appropriate pharmacological treatment for depression in this population based on drug-drug interactions and comorbid illnesses
  5. Discuss the appropriate utilization of ECT and psychotherapy in geriatric populations


Dr. Krishnan has received grants or research support from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and consultant fees from Abbott Laboratories, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Co., Inc., Organon Inc., Pfizer Inc, Vela, and Synaptic.

Dr. Jeffery has received honoraria from AstraZeneca and Pfizer Inc. He will be discussing off-label, unapproved and/or investigational uses of pharmaceutical products in the educational program.

Credit Statements

This program (ACPE# 203-999-03-685-H01) was developed by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) and is approved for 1.0 Contact Hour (0.1 CEU). ASCP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmaceutical education.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the AKH Consultant and Medical Communications Media, Inc. AKH Consultant is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AKH Consultant designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 category 1 credit toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the activity.

AKH Consultant is accredited as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, and is an approved provider through the Boards of Nursing in CA, #CEP12070, & IA, #277. This program has been approved for 1.2 nursing contact hours.

Credit will be awarded upon submission of a completed program evaluation and a post-test with a passing grade of 70% or better.

Commercial Support Statements

Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Inc.


This program was originally presented as a live audioconference series beginning in November 2003. It was accredited for 1.0 hour (0.1 CEUs) under ACPE Universal Program #203-999-03-685-C01. The original audioconference also offered CME credit for physicans and CE credit for nurses. Physicians, pharmacists and nurses who participated in the live audioconference are not eligible to receive continuing education credit through this program.

  1. Click on the "Start program" icon.
  2. The next screen will permit you to check for or download Flash, required to run this program. You will also find buttons which will permit you to start the program presentation, access other program elements, and take the post-test.
  3. Clicking on "start the program" on this screen will begin the program presentation which will take approximately 1 hour to complete.
  4. You must be registered with in order to complete the post-test. When you click on the post-test button you will be brought to a screen which will confirm your registration status and provide an opportunity to register if you haven't done so previously.
  5. Instructions for completing and submitting the post-test are provided on the post-test screen. A minimum score of 70% on the post-test is required for a Statement of Credit.

Certificate Fee



The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of their affiliated institutions, the publisher, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, AKH Consultant, or Pfizer Inc. Any medications, or other diagnostic or treatment procedures discussed by the program speakers should not be utilized by clinicians without evaluation of their patients’ conditions and of possible contraindications or risks, and without a review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information and comparison with the recommendations of other authorities.

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