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Parkinson's Disease Foundation Launches Online Course for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to launch a new online course, Occupational Therapy: Across the Parkinson's Disease Continuum, to prepare occupational therapy practitioners who are caring for the growing population of people living with Parkinson's disease.

The number of people with Parkinson's disease is expected to double by 2030. While no treatment can prevent or reverse the disease, research suggests that occupational therapy can help people with Parkinson's disease to experience a better quality of life.

"We know that for people with Parkinson's, losing the ability to work, exercise or perform daily tasks, such as dressing and bathing, can be devastating. Occupational therapy can help people to maintain these important activities and their independence for as long as possible," said Linda Tickle-Degnen, Ph.D., O.T.R./L., F.A.O.T.A., faculty for the course and Professor of Occupational Therapy at Tufts University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Despite these benefits, there are currently no formal training programs available to support the practitioners who are fighting this complex disease on the front lines. Occupational Therapy: Across the Parkinson's Disease Continuum is a four-module course that offers practitioners the latest in best practice care from experts in the fields of occupational therapy and Parkinson's disease. Through collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), continuing education units (CEUs) are available to those who view the course online.

"It is critical, both for people living with Parkinson's and their care partners, to build a health care team that is knowledgeable in the complexities of this chronic progressive disease, and we increasingly understand that the occupational therapist is a critical member of that team," noted Jay Phillips and Marilyn Phillips, P.T., faculty members for the course and members of the PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council. "As the first of its kind, PDF's course empowers occupational therapists working on the front lines by putting the latest evidence-based findings in their hands."

"PDF recognizes the important work that occupational therapy practitioners are doing each and every day to improve the lives of people with Parkinson's disease," added Robin Anthony Elliott, President of PDF. "We are pleased to launch this course, as part of PDF's investment in helping to prepare leaders in research, health care and the patient community, and to ensure that professionals have the tools they need to learn about the disease and treat it most effectively."

About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

About Occupational Therapy: Across the Parkinson's Disease Continuum
Occupational Therapy: Across the Parkinson's Disease Continuum is an online course designed by and for occupational therapy practitioners to ensure best practice care for people with Parkinson's disease. Course faculty include leaders in the fields of occupational therapy and Parkinson's disease including: Sue Berger, Ph.D., O.T.R./L., B.C.G., F.A.O.T.A., of Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College; Erin R. Foster, O.T.D., M.S.C.I., O.T.R./L., of the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis; Sotirios Parashos, M.D., Ph.D., of Struthers Parkinson's Center and the University of Minnesota; Jay Phillips, of the PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council; Marilyn Phillips, P.T., of the PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council; Linda Tickle-Degnen, Ph.D., O.T.R./L., F.A.O.T.A., of Tufts University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; and Ingrid Sturkenboom, Ph.D., O.T., M.A., of Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Through collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association, continuing education units are available to qualifying occupational therapy practitioners who view the course. The AOTA will offer a maximum of 7 contact hours/ .7 CEUs and 8.75 NBCOT PDUs for participants upon completion of all four modules. This course has been made possible with support from Susan Granat Weil. To learn more, visit support.pdf.org/occupationaltherapy.

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