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Disciplines: Speech-Language Pathology
Hours: 2 Contact Hours
  • Jane A. Painter-Patton, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • Amy Hasselkus, MA, CCC-SLP
Peer Reviewer(s): Marian Kavanagh Scheinholtz, MS, OT
Item#: O2504
Contents: 1 Course Book (68 pages)

Depression and Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults: Clinical Implications for Speech-Language Pathologists

Price $19.95
Item # O2504
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: May 1, 2017

Expiration date: May 1, 2019

From a speech-language pathologists perspective, depression and anxiety affect an older adult’s communication, cognition, social interactions, work, play, and leisure. SLPs can and should play a vital role in addressing the needs of older adults with depression or anxiety. SLPs may serve this population as direct care providers, consultants, managers, administrators, or educators in various community-based and private settings.

The purpose of this course is to familiarize SLPs and other healthcare professionals with current information on the often unacknowledged incidence of depression and anxiety disorders among older adults, including their types and causes, and their ramifications for functional performance and treatment strategies. This basic-level course provides the SLP with information about his or her role when working with this population and describes commonly used screening tools and interventions. A case study further elucidates the role that SLPs can play in the detection and treatment of behavioral health problems in older adults. 


This program is offered for 0.20 ASHA CEUs (Introductory-Level, Professional Area).

Course Objectives

  • Describe the types of depressive disorders prevalent among older adults, their etiology, and their effect on communication and cognition.
  • Identify the process of screening for depression and anxiety in older adults, including the screening tools useful to speech-language pathologists.
  • Describe evidence-based treatments for depression in older adults and the role of the speech-language pathologist in these interventions.
  • Describe the types, prevalence, and ramifications of anxiety disorders among older adults and their common treatments.
  • Discuss the role of the speech-language pathologist in addressing depression and anxiety disorders in older adults.

Jane A. Painter-Patton, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is an occupational therapy professor and academic fieldwork coordinator at East Carolina University. Dr. Painter-Patton has more than 37 years of experience working with older adults. She serves on the North Carolina Falls Coalition, North Carolina Healthy Aging Coalition, and the North Carolina Injury Prevention and Violence Prevention State Advisory Council. Her interests, presentations, and publications include geriatric community-based therapy in fall prevention, fear of falling, and home safety. Dr. Painter-Patton is a certified Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi instructor, an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) fieldwork educator certificate master trainer, and a master trainer for the Matter of Balance fear-of-falling community-based program.

Disclosures for Jane A. Painter-Patton: 

Financial – Received an honorarium from Western Schools for this work.

Nonfinancial – No nonfinancial relationships disclosed.


Amy Hasselkus, MA, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist. Amy obtained her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Georgia and accepted a position in a hospital in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where she provided services to children and adults with speech, language, cognitive, and swallowing disorders. She then worked for 11 years at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), where she assisted in the development of resources for speech-language pathologists on a variety of clinical and professional issues. Amy earned a second master’s degree in communication (with a focus on health communication) from George Mason University, and now teaches as an adjunct instructor at George Mason University and a local community college, and contributes to continuing education programs for speech-language pathologists.

Disclosures for Amy Hasselkus: 


Financial – Received an honorarium from Western Schools for this work.

Nonfinancial – No nonfinancial relationships disclosed.

Marian Kavanagh Scheinholtz, MS, OT, is a public health advisor in the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she administers the Older Adult Behavioral Health Services grant program and the development of evidence-based and promising practices toolkits, and is grant project officer for the Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration initiative. Prior to joining SAMHSA, Ms. Scheinholtz served for 12 years as mental health program manager for the American Occupational Therapy Association, where she managed national mental health projects and policy and led efforts to develop evidence-based practice guidelines on occupational therapy interventions for autism and serious mental illness. Her clinical practice included directing community-based psychosocial rehabilitation programs for people with serious mental illness and serving as occupational therapist for a National Institute of Mental Health research program for people with schizophrenia.

Disclosures for Marian Kavanagh Scheinholtz: 

Financial – Received an honorarium from Western Schools for this work. 

Nonfinancial – No nonfinancial relationships disclosed.

  • 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 to earn ASHA CEUs and/or receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this 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.
  • See author and peer reviewer tabs for disclosures. All other 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.