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  • Occupational Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
Hours: 6 Contact Hours
  • Gail L. Widener, PhD, PT
  • Diane D. Allen, PhD, PT
  • Tracy Flemming Tracy, OT, MSCS
  • Rosalind Kalb, PhD
Peer Reviewer(s):
  • Susan E. Bennett, PT, DPT, EdD, NCS, MSCS
  • Suzanne Carron, OTR/L, MSOT
Item#: I6385
Contents: 1 Course Book (114 pages)
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Occupational Therapy Intervention for Clients With Multiple Sclerosis: Evidence-Based Practice

Price $59.95
Item # I6385
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: September 27, 2017

Expiration Date: September 27, 2020

This intermediate course provides rehabilitative personnel with the background and evidence to increase effective management of symptoms in people with MS. This up-to-date review will enable occupational therapists to better target the specific needs of their clients. While some standardization in assessments may be useful, individualization of assessment and treatment planning is needed. The evidence supporting assessment and intervention tools can help the therapist select assessments and interventions most likely to contribute to successful outcomes given a particular client’s characteristics. The evidence also provides an indication of the likely benefit of a particular intervention when it is used with the intensity, frequency and timing reported in the literature. This course starts with a review of the incidence and prevalence, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and pharmacological management of this disease. The course then describes rehabilitative management, including assessment and intervention for people with MS. The intent is to encourage therapists to “kick it up a notch,” to apply sufficient intensity of appropriate evidence-based rehabilitation that challenges clients and improves their quality of life. 



AOTA Content Focus - Domain of OT: Areas of Occupation, Performance skills; Occupational Therapy Process: Evaluation, Interevention, Outcomes

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



Course Objectives

  • Differentiate the incidence, prevalence, pathophysiology, and clinical presentation of multiple sclerosis from other common neurological disorders.
  • Identify major components of the medical diagnosis and pharmacological management of multiple sclerosis.
  • Select observations and specific measures most appropriate for the examination of a particular individual with multiple sclerosis.
  • Recommend a rehabilitation occupational therapy plan of care using evidence-based interventions to maximize the function and quality of life of an individual with multiple sclerosis.


Gail L. Widener, PhD, PT, is a professor at the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, California. She completed her BSPT at Texas Women’s University and her PhD in physiology (emphasis in neurophysiology) at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Widener teaches physiology, neurophysiology, and the physical therapy management of persons with multiple sclerosis to entry-level physical therapy students and to physical therapy neurological residents. She wrote the chapter on multiple sclerosis in Umphred’s Neurological Rehabilitation, Sixth Edition, and has been a professional member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Northern California chapter’s Clinical Advisory Committee for more than 15 years. Dr. Widener also teaches community courses for people with multiple sclerosis who have issues with balance and falling.

Diane D. Allen, PhD, PT, is a professor at the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)/San Francisco State University. She completed her bachelor’s degree and certificate in physical therapy at UCSF, a master’s degree with a neuromuscular emphasis at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, a PhD in education (emphasis on quantitative measurement and evaluation) at the University of California, Berkeley, and a postdoctoral fellowship in rehabilitation measurement at Boston University. Dr. Allen specializes in tests and measures and neurorehabilitation, has coauthored a chapter on balance disorders and fall risk in Physical Rehabilitation Assessment and Intervention: An Evidence- Based Approach, and has published other studies related to outcome measures in neurological and outpatient populations. Dr. Allen received funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for her pilot study Mind the Gap – Targeting Differences in Patients’ Current and Preferred Abilities, in which she compared patient perceptions of their movement abilities with the clinicians’ emphases in therapy, noting that lack of agreement can lead to suboptimal outcomes.

Gail L. Widener and Diane D. Allen have been working with people with multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years and perform clinical research with this population. They have collaborated in writing a chapter on tone abnormalities in Physical Agents in Rehabilitation, now in its fourth edition. They have helped coauthor six peer-reviewed published articles, received grants from the California Physical Therapy Fund and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and have been co-principal investigators on a project funded by the National Institutes of Health studying the response of people with multiple sclerosis to balance-based torso weighting.

Tracy Flemming Tracy, OT, MSCS, is an occupational therapist and a multiple sclerosis (MS) specialist certified through the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) serving people with MS for the past 20 years, currently at the Tanner Center for MS. Tracy is the Executive Director of the Tanner Foundation and was previously the Vice President of Programs for the NMSS Alabama-Mississippi Chapter. Tracy is the chair of the Healthcare Advisory Committee with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and a member of the Community Research Advisory Committee with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)/Lakeshore Collaborative. She is also a member of the CMSC, International Organization of MS Rehabilitation Therapists (IOMSRT), and Professionals in Training (PIT) special interest group for rehabilitation professionals. Tracy has participated in numerous educational events for clients and healthcare professionals in collaborations withthe MS Association of America (MSAA), MS News and Views, the NMSS, AOTA, and APTA. Tracy manages grants for financial assistance for therapy services through the Tanner Foundation in collaboration with the MS Foundation (MSF) and has previously received funding for an MS Post Rehabilitation Wellness Program and a Pedometer Program for persons with MS. She was chosen to participate in the CMSC Rehabilitation Fellowship 2012 and hosted fellows at the Tanner Center for the CMSC in 2014. Tracy has presented abstracts for the CMSC annual meeting every year since 2011 and is involved with both investigator initiated and pharmaceutical sponsored clinical trials for persons with MS. She has partnered in delivery of NMSS educational programs such as Free From Falls, Cognifitness, and Everyday Matters in their communities. Most recently, Tracy was granted a PCORI funded study in collaboration with UAB/Lakeshore analyzing direct care therapy services versus telerehabilitation services.

Rosalind Kalb, PhD, currently an information and resources consultant for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and program consultant for Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, has specialized in MS care, support, and education for over 30 years. After receiving her doctorate from Fordham University in 1977, she began her career in MS, providing individual, group, and family therapy at the Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for MS at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and then at the MS Comprehensive Care Center in White Plains, New York. Dr. Kalb joined the National MS Society in 2000, creating online resources and educational materials for lay and professional audiences until 2017. Dr. Kalb is senior author of Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies, Second Edition, and coauthor of Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding the Cognitive Challenges. In addition, Dr. Kalb has edited two books – Multiple Sclerosis: The Questions You Have—The Answers You Need, now in its fifth edition, and Multiple Sclerosis: A Guide for Families, now in its third edition.


Susan E. Bennett, PT, DPT, EdD, NCS, MSCS, is a clinical professor in the departments of Rehabilitation Science, Neurology, and Neurosurgery at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York. Dr. Bennett has been a principal investigator or co-investigator in several key clinical trials, as well as an invited presenter or lecturer at numerous medical conferences, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Bennett received her BS in physical therapy from Daemen College (Buffalo), followed by an MS in health science education and an EdD in health behavioral sciences, both from the State University of New York in Buffalo. She is a boardcertified neurorehabilitation specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists and is certified as an MS Specialist by the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC). Dr. Bennett lectures and publishes in the areas of multiple sclerosis and physical rehabilitation, and is the 2010 recipient of the Labe C. Scheinberg Award, presented in recognition of outstanding work in neurorehabilitation in multiple sclerosis. Dr. Bennett is past president of the CMSC and has served as treasurer and chair of the Rehabilitation Research Interest Group and project director of the International Organization of MS Rehabilitation Therapists.

Suzanne Carron, OTR/L, MSOT, began her career at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 1999 developing and overseeing wellness, research, family, education, and therapeutic exercise programs for individuals affected by multiple sclerosis and developing and implementing professional education programs in collaboration with MS specialists. Currently, she is the senior manager – Healthcare Provider Engagement at the MS Society, providing leadership to the Healthcare Provider Engagement field team as well as Program Managers engaged in healthcare access work. Suzanne leads the Healthcare Provider Engagement field team in developing and managing strategic healthcare provider relationships and partnerships with community health organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Maryville University and a master of science degree in Occupational Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to joining the National MS Society, Suzanne worked as a staff occupational therapist in an acute care/skilled nursing setting.


  • 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.
  • Susan E. Bennett has disclosed that she has a financial relationship with Acorda Therapeutics and Medtronics. Western Schools ensures that this content is free from bias and commercial influence.