Neurodegenerative Diseases: Beat Barriers to Being Active

Description: People with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, have reduced physical activity and exercise participation. This webinar will address the physiological and psychosocial barriers to physical activity participation, and will provide participants with evidence-based strategies to help their patients beat the barriers to becoming more active in their home and community. Some of the key barriers to activity that will be discussed include physical function, pain, cognition, fatigue, depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, economic and environmental factors. Participants will learn how psychosocial intervention strategies, such as motivational interviewing and shared decision- making, can be used in rehabilitation for these populations. The application of these strategies will be discussed using case examples across diseases and severity of symptoms.

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

  • Describe key physiological and psychosocial features of neurodegenerative diseases that are associated with decreased physical activity.
  • Explain the psychosocial intervention strategies to address exercise behavior change in people with neurodegenerative disease.
  • Summarize exercise programs that synthesize knowledge of exercise principles (frequency, intensity, type, duration) for case examples of people with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

    Instructors: Miriam Rafferty, PT, DPT, PhD, NCS, Board Certified Neurologic Physical Therapist; Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Education in Health Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Flex Staff Physical Therapist, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab


    Bridget Fowler, PT, DPT, NCS, Board Certified Neurologic Physical Therapist, Physical Therapist, Nerve Muscle Bone Innovation Center/Strength and Endurance Lab, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

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

    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 1.5 Contact Hours. 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 1.5 contact hours.  

    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. Category 2: Occupational Therapy Process

    Speech-Language Pathology

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


    Miriam Rafferty

    Financial -  Receives honorarium for teaching this course from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Receives a grant from the Steering Committee of the Parkinson Outcomes Project of the Parkinson Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare & Research Quality

    Non-Financial -  Serves as member of Evidence-Based Document Committee of the American Physical Therapy Association, Academy Neurologic Physical Therapy and Foundation for Physical Therapy. Elected Assembly Representative, Illinois Physical Therapy Association

    Bridget Fowler

    Financial -  Receives honorarium for teaching this course from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

    Non-Financial -  No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists

    Basic Computer Requirements: You will need access to a computer with an Internet connection. High speed broadband access (LAN, Cable or DSL) is highly recommended.

    • PC: Compatible Operating System: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 Web Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higher
    • MAC: Compatible Operating System: OS X Web Browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari

    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 Speech Language Pathologists