Diagnoses of mental health conditions in the elderly can be extremely challenging as many elderly patients present with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral signs and symptoms that do not fit cleanly into well-defined (DSM-IVTR) diagnostic categories. Even when patients do meet formal criteria, their diagnoses can go unrecognized, or families and patients may be uncomfortable facing them
Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) December 16, 2008
HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, PSNA, CA-BBS) online provider of continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals announces the addition of a new CE course, A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Differential Diagnosis of Mental Health Problems in the Elderly: Depression, Dementia, & Delirium, to the Aging/Gerontology category of their extensive online CE resource library.
"Diagnoses of mental health conditions in the elderly can be extremely challenging as many elderly patients present with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral signs and symptoms that do not fit cleanly into well-defined (DSM-IVTR) diagnostic categories. Even when patients do meet formal criteria, their diagnoses can go unrecognized, or families and patients may be uncomfortable facing them" notes course author Julia Weinberg, JD, Ph.D. "These diagnostic challenges are compounded by the fact that many clinicians have had minimal experience working with older adults - a disheartening thought as there is an increasing likelihood that clinicians will encounter requests to assist with mental health issues in the elderly as the baby boom generation reaches age 65 and as improvements in healthcare prevention and treatment result in longer life expectancies," adds Michelle Rodoletz, Ph.D., co-founder of HFO and Director of the Continuing Education Program.
The objective of this online CE course is to inform mental health professionals working with geriatric patients about evidence-based approaches to assessing symptoms of cognitive impairment, mood, and psychosis that need to be considered in differentiating diagnoses of depression, dementia, and delirium in the elderly.
Evidence-based instruments for brief cognitive screening are described and an overview of common medical conditions that may underlie the presenting psychological symptoms is provided to facilitate appropriate referrals and/or follow-up for additional assessment and treatment. Further, course material is presented in a culturally-sensitive manner respect to differing beliefs about normal aging, illness and healthcare: important factors that contribute to under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis.
Psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied health professionals can chose from HFO's 18 categories of topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine (i.e., ethics, cancer adaptation, women's health, cultural diversity, eating disorders, reproduction/sexuality, aging/gerontology, pediatric behavioral medicine, assessment, chemical dependency, chronic/acute illness, clinical intervention, group therapy, infectious disease, long-term care, neuropsychology, pain management, spirituality) containing over 55 courses available online or as downloadable, transportable PDFs. Health professionals can log on and complete CE courses at their own pace, on their own schedule, anywhere they have Internet access. CE certificates can be downloaded, printed and reprinted at any time to meet licensure renewal needs.
Lastly, since HFO understands that busy health professionals need to have fast, convenient and cost-effective resources for state-of the-science education, we notify customers when their purchased CE course has been updated and enable customers to review these updates for free online even after they have completed the CE activity and generated their CE certificate.
For more information on this or other courses in the Aging/Gerontology category or a complete listing of titles in our CE resource library, visit HealthForumOnline.com.
HealthForumOnline (HFO) is approved as a provider of CE courses by the American Psychological Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the Association of Social Work Boards, and several state professional organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. HFO's CE Program's Advisory Committee and authors are comprised of over 50 nationally-recognized experts in behavioral medicine.