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AJP CME: August 2016 - Late-Life Depression: A Role for Accelerometer Technology in Diagnosis and Management

Activity Type:

  • Journal CME

Release Date: 8/1/2016

Expiration Date: 7/31/2018

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Physician: 1
  • Participation: 1

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Abstract: It is well established that depressive symptoms in late life can be challenging to diagnose because of heterogeneity of clinical presentation. Moreover, older adults with depressive symptoms frequently fail to meet DSM criteria for depressive episodes. Older adults also frequently present with subsyndromal depressive symptoms, and the prevalence of subsyndromal depression may be up to three times higher than that for major depression in this population. In older adults like Mr. G in the vignette, with comorbid mood symptoms and cognitive impairment, clinical information as well as collateral information may be unreliable or biased. This case highlights how accelerometer-based technology can have an impact on several dimensions of diagnosis and management of depressive symptoms in late life by providing a more accurate clinical understanding of specific factors that can be key determinants of care. Currently available devices are able, at a minimum, to provide quantified information on sleep and physical activity, both of which are diagnostically pertinent factors for clinicians. Here, we discuss key clinical issues related to depressive symptoms in late life where use of accelerometer-based technology may have a role.

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This activity is only available to AJP CME subscribers.

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Educational Objective

The participant will indicate how accelerometer-based technology may be applied to the diagnosis and management of depressive symptoms in late life.

Target Audience

This program is designed for all psychiatrists in clinical practice, residents in Graduate Medical Education programs, medical students interested in psychiatry, and other physicians who wish to advance their current knowledge of clinical medicine.

Estimated Time to Complete

Duration: 1 hour
Begin Date: August 1, 2016
End Date: July 31, 2018

How to Earn Credit

In order to earn CME credit, subscribers should read through the material presented in the article. After reading the article, complete the quiz and submit your evaluation and study hours (up to 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™).  A score of 60% or higher is required to receive 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 journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Title: Late-Life Depression: A Role for Accelerometer Technology in Diagnosis and Management

Authors: Ipsit V. Vahia, M.D., Daniel D. Sewell, M.D.

Affiliations: From the Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Healthy Aging, University of California, San Diego, and the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass. (I.V.V., D.D.S.).

Disclosures: Dr. Sewell has served as an advisory board member for ActivCare and has been a co-investigator on studies supported by grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration (Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program) and from the John A. Hartford Foundation. Dr. Vahia receives an honorarium for his role on the editorial board of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Discussion of unapproved or investigational use of products*: Yes.

*APA policy requires disclosure by CME authors of unapproved or investigational use of products discussed in CME programs. Off-label use of medications by individual physicians is permitted and common. Decisions about off-label use can be guided by scientific literature and clinical experience.

Program Planners

Robert Freedman, M.D. (Editor-in-Chief, AJP); Susan K. Schultz, M.D. (Deputy Editor, AJP); Michael D. Roy (Editorial Director, AJP) ; Michael A. Pogachar (Online Content Manager, Journals).

Dr. Schultz has received research support from the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study for projects conducted in partnership with Toyama Chemical Company and in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Freedman, Mr. Roy, and Mr. Pogachar report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site 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:
Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+ 
Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+ 
Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher
Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels.

Minimum Requirements:
Windows PC:
500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Mac OS X 10.3 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

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