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Wednesday, July 29 • 8:00am - 12:00pm
17: Why Do I Need To Know About Psychiatric Medications? (Half-Day Workshop, AM)

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Why Do I Need to Know About Psychiatric Medications? I'm Not a Prescriber!
- Because You Have the Opportunity to Save Your Patient's Life

Speakers: Andrew Roth, MD, Philip Bailer, MD and Steven Passik, PhD

Clinicians have numerous tools at their disposal to help adult cancer patients dealing with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other cancer sequelae. Psychiatric medications are most frequently prescribed to cancer patients by oncologists and general practitioners, however psychiatric syndromes are often underdiagnosed and undertreated. Few oncology practices have dedicated psychiatric consultants familiar with the nuances of Psycho-Oncology. Even when patients receive psychotropic medications appropriately, they may have problems that arise before their next Oncology visit or before they see the person who prescribed their psychiatric medications. Psychologists, nurses and social workers play an essential role in identifying psychological and physical symptoms as well as both beneficial and problematic medication effects as they provide frontline psychosocial interventions and support for cancer patients.

This workshop is designed for the non-prescribing psycho-oncology clinician as well as the psychiatrist who is new to the world of Psycho-pharmaco-oncology. The workshop will focus on key target symptoms amenable to psychopharmacological intervention, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, fatigue and anorexia. Precipitants will learn to identify psychological reactions to medical conditions or treatments; psychiatric presentations of medical conditions or treatments; medical presentations of psychiatric conditions and common medical complications of psychiatric conditions or treatments. 

Basic information will be presented about medications used to alleviate QOL symptoms that arise in the cancer setting from diagnosis to survivorship or end of life care, and the interface of psychotherapy and medication management. 

We will review why certain medications are used and why some are avoided, looking at potential benefits, unwanted side effects, and drug-drug interactions, since you may be the first person to identify a serious adverse event. The workshop will also enhance your ability to provide psychoeducation to patients regarding psychiatric medications.

The following classes of medications will be covered in this workshop: antidepressants, anxiolytics/hypnotics, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and psychostimulants. Case vignettes will be used to illustrate how to formulate an appropriate and effective medication regimen in a cancer patient struggling with a complex cancer-related symptom burden. Plenty of time will be allowed for questions and discussion, and handouts will be provided for the audience.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Psychotropic non-prescribers and junior psychiatrists will learn how to hone essential clinical and observation skills to improve the quality of life, mental health and safety of their patients by understanding the basics of the psychophysiology of cancer. Participants will learn about new technologies, such as Urine Drug Testing (UDT) and Pharmaco-Genetic Testing (PGT), which will help them be even more a part of multidisciplinary oncology teams.
  2. Participants will learn basic psycho-pharmaco-oncology including how to think about better and worse choices of psychotropics, as well as how to identify problematic side effects to transmit to the oncology team before the patient’s next visit with the oncology team.

Wednesday July 29, 2015 8:00am - 12:00pm
DuPont Circle Meeting Level 3

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