Parkinson's Disease

Z 09/17-11/12 An Interdisciplinary Therapeutic Approach to Parkinson’s Disease

  • Online series runs over 8 weeks

  • 9 online lectures (total of 11.0 hours) 1.5 hours live and 9.5 hours self-study

  • No travel needed to participate in this comprehensive course

  • Interactive group discussion board to interface with faculty and classmates

Click Here to Download the Course Brochure

Click Here to Download the Course Syllabus  

Description: Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is one of the most common neurological diseases, with over ten million people living with the disease worldwide. PD is a movement disorder that has both motor and non-motor symptoms. It can impact gait, balance, fine motor control, cognitive abilities and communication skills as well as activities of daily living and psychosocial relationships. This population is well served by an interdisciplinary team approach that includes physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, psychologists, dieticians among others.

This online course series will focus on the interdisciplinary collaborative care of individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as how their disease affects their family and caregivers. A team of experts will lead you through the progression of the disease, best practices and applicable clinical skills. They will highlight unique aspects of the disease, including both motor and non-motor symptoms as well as special topics regarding vision, hydration and nutrition, and sexuality/intimacy as related to PD. The course will take an in-depth look at how PD impacts caregivers and their role in this journey and how the interdisciplinary team can support them. Finally, the role of the Neuropsychologist and how their work influences the clinical care of the individual living with PD. Throughout the course, participants will have an opportunity to learn both in and outside of the virtual classroom, discuss cases and best practices when working with the PD population.

Successful completion: Participants will attend 9 online lectures (total of 11.0 hours – 1.5 hours live and 9.5 hours self study), one 30 minute, Ask the Experts Discussion (optional), and will complete 2 hours of self-study activities. The self-study activities for the course will consist of readings, questions, and case studies. The final week (Role of the Neuropsychologist) will be live, but recorded and released on-demand for viewing after live presentation.There will be a live, optional, Ask the Experts Office Hours, as part of the course.

*Office Hours will not count towards CEU/Contact Hours.* No partial credit will be awarded for this course.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify common motor and non-motor symptoms of PD.
  • Formulate a plan for potential treatments for motor and non-motor symptoms of PD.
  • Discuss the interdisciplinary team’s role in managing motor symptoms from early to advanced disease.
  • Identify common visual changes, nutritional and swallowing changes, as well how sexuality and intimacy is impacted during disease progression.
  • Integrate the caregiver point of view in planning a treatment programs for motor and non-motor symptoms of PD.

    Audience: Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, and Speech-Language Pathologists, Physicians (not for CME), Advanced Practice Providers (Physician Assistants and Advanced Practice Nurses), Psychologists, and Social Workers.


    Physical Therapy

    This online course has been approved by the Illinois Physical Therapy Board for 13.0 contact Hours (1.5 live, 11.5 self-study).

    The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education.  This course has been approved by the New York Physical Therapy Board for 13.0 Contact Hours (1.5 live, 11.5 self-study).

    Occupational Therapy

    Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development.This distance learning-interactive course is offered at 1.30 CEUs [intermediate level,Foundational Knowledge/OT Service Delivery]. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

    Speech Language Pathologists

    This course is offered for 1.30 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

    A full list of faculty disclosures for ASHA if available: HERE

    Social Workers

    The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is registered by the State of Illinois to sponsor continuing education programs for social workers. This program will award 1.30 CEU.

     *Please note, no partial credit will be awarded for this course.*

    Technology Requirements

    To participate, you will need the following:

    • Access to a computer with an Internet connection. High-speed broadband access (LAN, Cable or DSL) is highly recommended.
    • Phone
    • Internet connection
    • Web browser: Latest stable version of Apple Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox
    • JavaScript and Cookies enabled
    • Speaker or headset to listen to audio files and participate in conference calls
    • Do NOT use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, as they are not supported.



    Occupational Therapists Occupational Therapy Assistants OTA and PTA Physical Therapist Assistants Physical Therapists Physicians Social Workers Speech Language Pathologists


    Degenerative Diseases Musculoskeletal Pain Parkinson's Disease