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  • Occupational Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
  • Alexandra L. Terrill, PhD
  • Brandon Abbs, PhD
  • Julie Heinrichs, PT, DPT
Peer Reviewer(s):
  • John G. Cagle, PhD, MSW
  • Jessica J. Bolduc, DrOT, MSOTR/L
Item#: I6386
Contents: 1 Course Book (56 pages)
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Chronic Illness and Depression

Price $24.95
Item # I6386
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: November 28, 2017

Expiration Date: November 28, 2020

This  basic-level course addresses the knowledge gap by providing rehabilitation  professionals with an overview of the co-occurrence of depression and chronic conditions and identifying challenges in screening and referring adults with chronic conditions and depression. It provides explanations for potential causes of and contributing factors to depression unique to individuals with chronic medical conditions. Although individuals with chronic conditions are at increased risk for depression, this course also explores factors that may enhance such individuals’ well-being and diminish the likelihood of depression.


AOTA Content Focus - Domain of OT: Client Factor; OT Process: Evaluation

0.2 AOTA CEUs are awarded upon successful completion of this course.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the co-occurrence of depression and chronic illness.
  • Recognize the symptoms of depression and appropriate assessment tools to screen for depression.
  • Identify common causes and contributing risk and protective factors for depression in individuals in medical populations.
  • Describe treatment approaches for depression in individuals with chronic illness.
  • Describe the implications of chronic illness and depression on physical and occupational therapy practice.
Alexandra L. Terrill, PhD, received her PhD in clinical psychology from Washington State University, with specialized training in clinical health psychology. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in rehabilitation psychology. During her fellowship, she was involved in research on aging with physical disabilities associated with chronic conditions. Dr. Terrill is currently a faculty member at the University of Utah, Division of Occupational Therapy. Her research encompasses three basic areas: (1) stress, coping/adjustment, and chronic health conditions; (2) using strengths-based interventions (positive psychology); and (3) aging. Her broad goal is to improve our understanding of how social, psychological, and biological processes interact to affect individuals aging with a chronic condition and develop interventions that enhance productivity and quality of life from early to late adulthood. She is particularly interested in investigating and enhancing protective factors involved in the prevention of and adjustment to chronic medical conditions and associated disability.
Brandon Abbs, PhD, earned his PhD in psychology from the University of Iowa and a BA in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. He was most recently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. During this fellowship, he was involved in research projects on the relationship between maternal infection during pregnancy and a child’s risk for schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and early cognitive decline. He studied this relationship using neuroimaging and neuropsychology. He is currently a senior medical writer for a biotechnology company in Boston, where he composes documents needed to conduct clinical trials in oncology and to inform people about specific cancer types and available treatments.
Julie Heinrichs, PT, DPT, earned her BA in English and master’s in Physical Therapy from Marquette University in Milwaukee and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. She has over a decade of experience working with adults in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Because of her experience in working with patients with mental health challenges, she has developed a profes­sional interest in the interactions between mental and physical health. She is currently the Physical Therapy Education Planner at Western Schools.

John G. Cagle, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore. His work focuses on the psychosocial dimensions of family caregiving and coping with life-threatening illness. As a clinician-researcher, his scholarship is informed by nearly a decade of experience as a hospice social worker. His scholarship includes work on the application of cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches with families coping with serious, life-threatening illness. His research has also included clinical trials to assess for and address barriers to pain management in hospice care, efforts to improve palliative care in long-term care settings, and an evaluation of caregiving at the end of life. His work has been supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the National Institutes of Health.

Jessica J. Bolduc, DrOT, MSOTR/L, received her master’s degree from the University of New England in 2005 and her doctorate in 2013 from Nova Southeastern University. Her clinical experience spans the continuum of care, including acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and home health. Dr. Bolduc has served as adjunct professor in the occupational therapy department at the University of New England and the University of Southern Maine, where she taught courses on physical dysfunction. She served as vice president of the Vermont Occupational Therapy Association for two years and as president for three years. She is currently active with the Maine Occupational Therapy Association as President-Elect. Dr. Bolduc is licensed in occupational therapy in four states and is a certified clinical fieldwork educator. She has published in OT Practice, The Internet Journal of Allied Health, Sciences and Practice, and has written textbook chapters in Gerontology for The HealthCare Practitioner and Occupational Therapy Essentials for Clinical Competence. She has presented at national and state occupational therapy conferences. In addition to her ongoing work as a staff occupational therapist, Dr. Bolduc serves as the Occupational Therapy Planner at Western Schools, an AOTA-approved provider of continuing education.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.