A Practical Guide to Psychiatric Advance Directives (2 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course examines the history of advance directives (including the Nancy Cruzan case and the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990) along with current research about psychiatric advance directives (PADs) and their benefits, barriers, and challenges.  Shared-decision making, decision supports, and decision aids are explored as important tools for supporting autonomy.  The ethical principles of informed consent, autonomy, beneficence, and justice are highlighted.   The course offers practical guidance for completing and implementing PADs.  Samples and resources on PADs are given.

NASW Code of Ethics 1. Social Workers’ Ethical Responsibilities to Clients- 1.01 Commitment to Clients- Social workers’ primary responsibility is to promote the well-being of clients. In general, clients’ interests are primary. However, social workers’ responsibility to the larger society or specific legal obligations may on limited occasions supersede the loyalty owed clients, and clients should be so advised.  1.02 Self-Determination- Social workers respect and promote the right of clients to self-determination and assist clients in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals. Social workers may limit clients’ right to self-determination when, in the social workers’ professional judgment, clients’ actions or potential actions pose a serious, foreseeable, and imminent risk to themselves or others.

State by state PAD information can be found at The National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives https://www.nrc-pad.org.

This course is recommended for social workers and is appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels of practice.  This course is not recommended for NBCC ethics credit.

Find the reading at:  https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/a_practical_guide_to_psychiatric_advance_directives.pdf

Publisher:   Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to psychiatric advance directives and supporting autonomy.

Learning Objectives:  Describe the benefits of the psychiatric advance directive.  Identify barriers that may limit PAD completion and implementation.  Describe the ethical principles of informed consent, autonomy, beneficence, and justice.  Compare the concepts of autonomy and paternalism as related to psychiatric advance directives.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: A psychiatric or mental health advance directive is a legal tool that allows a person with mental illness to state their preferences for treatment ___________ a crisis.
2: A PAD goes into effect when
3: PADs are used
4: Researchers found that part of the motivation for having a PAD comes from a desire to avoid
5: PADs support the ethical principle of
6: The history of advance directives was born out of a Supreme Court decision in the case of
7: What federal legislation operationalized advance directives by requiring hospitals receiving federal assistance to ask patients if they had an advance directive or would like one, to give them information about how to create one, and to honor them?
8: Research has shown that persons who complete a PAD tend to experience ___________ coercive crisis interventions.
9: A facilitated psychiatric advance directive (FPAD) includes _______________.
10: A study was published in 2006 as a result of a NIMH-funded randomized control trial with 469 people.  At a 6 month follow-up, the people who had completed PADS had
11: Which of the following describes challenges in dissemination of PADs?
12: Bias against the decision-making capacity of persons living with serious mental illness is characteristic of
13: Shared-decision making, decision supports, and decision aids are characteristic of
14: A person who completes a PAD may need to share the document with
15: Providing training about the legal tools that support autonomy and shared decision making could be included in
16: A legal document that states a person's preferences for treatment in advance is
17: If a person is under involuntary commitment, their psychiatric advance directive

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2018 - 9/6/2021. Social workers completing this course receive 2 continuing education credits.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.