Ethical Issues Facing Functional Neurological Disorders – “What is My Diagnosis?"

Description: Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a neuropsychiatric disorder that falls between the borderlands of neurology and psychiatry. It is characterized by one or more symptoms of altered voluntary motor or sensory function that cannot be fully explained by another neurological or medical condition. Many clinicians often feel inadequate in making the diagnosis, understanding the illness, or discussing it with patients. Many patients often feel marginalized or unsatisfied with encounters with clinicians and have a sense of non-disclosure. Additionally, clinicians may avoid discussing the diagnosis or prognosis with patients.  The management of FND has significant impact on patients’ quality of lives and healthcare cost given the risk of frequent hospital visits and less informed plethora of expensive work ups without solid supportive data. Many patients want to learn more about the diagnosis and a discussion about the illness often supports the treatment in rehabilitation settings. Improved understanding of the diagnosis may also allow clinicians to implement treatment plans that foster independence and gradual restoration of functioning. This webinar will focus on the diagnosis of FND and principles of what this diagnosis is and is not. It will discuss how to present the diagnosis to patients and the importance of diagnostic disclosure.

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

  • Discuss the diagnostic criteria for a functional neurological disorder
  • Identify methods to discuss the diagnosis with a patient
  • Understand the ethical dilemma underlying diagnostic disclosure of FND

Instructor: R. Brett Lloyd, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Associate Residency Program Director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine & Northwestern Medicine

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

Successful Completion: After viewing the 1 hour pre-recorded webinar, you will complete a course evaluation and take a short assessment. You may download copies of your certificate from the Academy Learning Portal.

Note: You will have 3 months from the date of purchase to complete and review the course material. You will receive a reminder email 2 weeks before the expiration date.

Continuing Education Credits


Physical Therapy 

This course has been approved by the Illinois Physical Therapy Board for 1 Contact Hour. Approval #216-000069.

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education. This course has been approved for 1 contact hour.

Occupational Therapy 

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 0.1 CEUs or 1 contact hour. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Category 1: Domain of OT

 Speech-Language Pathology


This course is offered for  0.1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Social Work
The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is registered by the State of Illinois to sponsor continuing education programs for social workers. This program will award 1 Continuing Education Credit Hour. Sponsor License #159001466


FinancialReceives a salary from Northwestern Medicine and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Non-Financial -  No relevant non-financial relationship exists

Basic Computer Requirements: To participate, you will need access to a device with an Internet connection. Computers, laptops, iOS and Android devices are supported. High-speed broadband Internet access (LAN, Cable or DSL) is highly recommended. 

Additional requirements include:

  • Web browser: latest version of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari
  • JavaScript and Cookies enabled
  • Speaker or headset to listen to recorded audio files
  • Speaker and microphone, or headset with microphone, or phone to listen to webinar facilitators
  • Do NOTuse Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as they are not supported.

Cancellation Policy: To request a cancellation of an on-demand program, please provide written notice by letter, email, or fax or contact us by phone within 24 hours of placing your order and we will refund you the full course fee. If you cannot give notice within 24 hours, a credit towards a future course of equal value would apply.


Online Learning Occupational Therapists OTA and PTA Physical Therapists Social Workers Speech Language Pathologists