Chronic Illness and Depression - C6517


About Course #C6517

Release Date: April 4, 2016

Expiration Date: December 31, 2019

Chronic illness is a condition that lasts over a long time and typically cannot be completely cured, although it can be managed through medication and lifestyle. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis are all examples of chronic conditions. Depression is also a chronic medical illness. Depression affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves and frequently co-occurs with other chronic conditions. Depression in chronic illness decreases a person's quality of life and leads to a greater utilization of healthcare resources.

This course presents clinicians with an integrated view of the biological and psychological contributors to and consequences of chronic illness using a biopsychosocial model. Designed for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists, the course examines the prevalence and symptoms of depression as well as selected chronic medical conditions with which depression is often associated. Structured means of assessing depression are also presented. Contributing risk and protective factors to depression and potential treatments are also explored.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the co-occurrence of depression and chronic illness
  • Recognize the symptoms of depression and the challenges of identifying depressive symptoms in individuals with chronic illness
  • 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

About the Authors

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 post-doctoral 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.

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. 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.

Course Disclosures

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

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