Decision Making Capacity

Important Note: This webinar will expire on 9/30/2024. Please complete all of the required components of the course in the Academy learning portal prior to this date. 

Description: This on-demand webinar will focus on what decision-making capacity is and how to assess a patient’s capacity to make a health care decision. Many patients in rehabilitation have conditions that could impair their decision-making capabilities. Some of these conditions were present prior to their illness or injury, such as health literacy, intellectual/developmental disability or mental health issues, but some are acquired, such as brain injury.  Surrogate decision-making will also be discussed.

Instructor: Teresa A. Savage, PhD, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor, Women, Children, and Family Health Science College of Nursing and Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Disability and Human Development, College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

Audience: Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Speech-Language Pathologists, Social Workers

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

  • Summarize the process of assessing decision-making capacity
  • Define principles of Grisso & Appelbaum’s assessment tools
  • List tools for assessing decision-making capacity of adults in a health care setting  
  • Recognize clinical context, the “sliding scale” nature of capacity and the gravity of the decision in relation to the capacity to consent


Continuing Education Credits

Occupational Therapy
The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is an approved provider for the American Occupational Therapy Association to offer continuing education in occupational therapy. This intermediate level program awards occupational therapists 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

Physical Therapy
This course has been approved by the Illinois Physical Therapy Board for 1.5 Contact Hours. Approval #216-000069

Speech-Language Pathology

This course is offered for 0.15 CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

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 1.5 Continuing Education Credit Hours. Sponsor License #159001466

Financial -  Receives a salary from  the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Non-Financial -  No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist



Online Learning Nurses Occupational Therapists Physical Therapists Speech Language Pathologists Social Workers