Apr 2016

Use of Antipsychotics in Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) Discussion Guide


There are currently 500,000 older adults with dementia in Canada. Understand the best practices for assessing and managing patients with dementia, with a particular focus on the use of antipsychotics using the primary care, long-term care, or resident and caregiver editions.

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In the Know: Use of Antipsychotics in Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia

Our video on the Use of Antipsychotics in Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia, featuring Dr. Sid Feldman, with information about how to assess and manage dementia, and how primary care providers can use this tool in their practice. Visit: effectivepractice.org/dementia


About the Tool

The Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) developed three tools to help promote a better understanding of best practices for assessing and managing patients with dementia, with a particular focus on the use of antipsychotics. The content is similar in each Tool, with modifications to meet the needs of these audiences:

  • Primary Care Edition — for primary care providers.
  • Resident and Caregiver Edition — specifically for families, caregivers and residents of Long-Term Care Homes.
  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Edition — for providers, administrators, caregivers, and interested residents and families in Long-Term Care Homes as part CEP’s Academic Detailing Service.

Each tool contains information to help providers, caregivers, family members and Long-Term Care home residents:

  • Use non-drug therapy as an important part of management, regardless of whether drug therapy is initiated.
  • Understand when and how to initiate drug therapy for appropriate symptom clusters.Each edition of the tool includes references to relevant existing tools, strategies and services.
  • The LTC edition is used as a resource for CEP’s Academic Detailing Service.
  • Discuss and document behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
  • Weigh the benefits and harms of using antipsychotics.

The Long-Term Care, and Resident and Caregiver Editions of the tool were developed as part of Centre for Effective Practice’s academic detailing service for long-term care homes. The Primary Care Edition of the tool is one of several resources developed as part of the 2014 to 2017 Knowledge Translation in Primary Care Initiative (KTinPC). This multi-year initiative was a collaboration between the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP), Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP), and Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO). Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, this initiative supported primary care providers with the development of a series of clinical tools and health information resources. 

The Primary Care Edition of the Tool was developed in parallel with the Long-Term Care and Resident and Caregiver Editions using CEP’s integrated knowledge translation development methods. CEP ensures that healthcare providers are engaged throughout the tool development process, using a user-centered design methodology to test the usability of tools from a provider perspective. CEP’s Academic Detailing Service Team, with clinical leadership from Dr. Sid Feldman developed, the Primary Care Edition.

Clinical Lead

  • Dr. Andrea Moser

    MD, PhD

    Dr. Andrea Furlan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Staff Physician and Senior Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She is also a Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Furlan has extensive experience in reviewing the scientific literature for the Cochrane Collaboration and for clinical practice guidelines. She received a CIHR New Investigator Award, and her research focus is on treatments of chronic pain including medications, complementary and alternative therapies, and rehabilitation. She was the team leader for the development of the Canadian Opioid Guideline, and is now involved with Guideline’s National Faculty in the dissemination and implementation of the guideline across Canada. She provided clinical leadership for the original and updated Opioid Manager. She is the author of the My Opioid Manager, a book and App for patients using opioids for chronic pain. Dr. Furlan is a co-Chair of Echo Ontario (link is external) for Pain and Opioid Stewardship.

  • Dr. Sid Feldman


    Dr. Sid Feldman is a community family physician affiliated with the North York Family Health Team. He also works as attending physician in the Toronto Central LHIN Behaviour Support Unit at Baycrest for residents with behavioural symptoms of dementia. His academic and administrative roles at Baycrest include Medical Director, Home for the Aged, Executive Medical Director Residential and Aging at Home Program and Chief, Family and Community Medicine. He is an Associate Professor and Coordinator, Care of the Elderly Program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto and serves as the Ontario representative on the CFPC Health Care of the Elderly Program Committee.

  • Kristin Ferguson


    Kristin Ferguson is an experienced community pharmacist. She has managed a community pharmacy for more than seven years while becoming involved in the non-profit healthcare sector. Kristin completed her pharmacy degree at the University of Toronto and also received her Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Western Ontario with an interest in health promotion in a rural setting. As a volunteer, Kristin has worked with the Port Hope Community Health Centre for many years and now sits on the board of directors. This reflects her commitment to giving back to her community. Kristin enjoys the outdoors and also spends time canning and preserving with produce from her farm.

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