HealthForumOnline Posts Updates to Online CE Courses on Reproductive Health Topics: Infertility and PPD

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HealthForumOnline (HFO), a provider of nationally-approved online continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other allied health professionals, has recently updated 2 online continuing education (CE) courses from its Sexuality/Reproduction category; Experiencing Infertility: The Psychological Care of Individuals and Couples and A Comprehensive Review of Postpartum Depression (PPD) for Healthcare Providers. The updates to these online CE courses represent advances in the field of health psychology and behavioral medicine and HFO's ongoing commitment to providing state-of-the science, theory- and evidence-based continuing education to mental health professionals. HFO’s over 80 online CE courses are fast, convenient and especially cost-effective with continued free access to course updates beyond completion of the CE activity; making HFO’s online CE courses true investments in one’s continuing education.

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As medical technology advances (e.g., genetic testing, infertility treatment, multiple births), more complex patient-based decisions and/or psychological issues may arise for patients with infertility or Postpartum Depression.

HealthForumOnline (HFO), an online provider of nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, PSNA, CA-BBS) continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals, announces updates to 2 courses in their Sexuality/Reproduction category. The courses recently updated include, Experiencing Infertility: The Psychological Care of Individuals and Couples and A Comprehensive Review of Postpartum Depression (PPD) for Healthcare Providers.

Reproductive health is a burgeoning field within traditional and behavioral medicine. Among health professionals, interest in this area will likely grow as medical advances emerge and population rates continue to increase. Consider, that an estimated that as many as 1 in every 6 couples of childbearing age experience some form of compromised fertility or medically diagnosable infertility (Chandra, et al., 2005; Boivin, et al., 2007) and that at least 1 in 10 women will develop clinical depression following childbirth, making postpartum depression (PPD) the leading postpartum complication (e.g., Gjerdingen & Yawn, 2007; Gjerdingen, et al., 2011). Given these prevalence rates and the fact that reproductive-related conditions such as infertility or PPD have underlying biopsychosocial components related etiology as well as treatment, it is likely that psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other allied health professionals will encounter these patients and their families in their practice.

However, many mental healthcare professionals have limited or, at best, peripheral training with regard to how to treat this population – as individuals, couples, and/or families. Moreover, it will become increasingly important for mental healthcare professionals to have a stronger foundation in areas such as infertility and PPD because as medical technology rapidly advances (e.g., genetic testing, fertility treatment, multiple births), with these advances may come more complex patient-based decisions and/or psychological issues. For example, whether or not to pursue infertility treatment and undergo assisted reproduction constitutes a major life decision for patients, decisions that are often accompanied by stressful medical procedures and psychological sequelae no matter what the outcome. Likewise, healthcare providers must be aware of the risk factors associated with PPD, as well as the validated screening and diagnostic tools available, in order to promote the proper care for new mothers and their children.

The recently updated state-of-the-science course content in these 2 online CE courses from HFO will assist health professionals in navigating emerging issues in the context of reproductive healthcare. Specifically, the information in Experiencing Infertility: The Psychological Care of Individuals and Couples serves as a resource for mental health professionals and allied healthcare providers who work with infertile patients and highlights the need for a broad approach that encompasses the concerns of the individual, as well as the couple as a dyad and the family as a unit. Broad theoretical models within Health Psychology and empirically-based infertility-specific data guide the course content. The other recently updated online CE course, A Comprehensive Review of Postpartum Depression (PPD) for Healthcare Providers, reviews the epidemiology, diagnosis, assessment, treatment and clinical implications of PPD, such as the importance of seeking treatment for mothers screening positive for PPD and the detrimental impact of untreated PPD on the mother, family and society. PPD screening measures for use in clinical practice are included and empirically-validated treatments for PPD are reviewed and patient handouts to facilitate care are provided.

These recently updated online CE courses, make it simple for busy licensed mental health and allied health care professionals to expand their knowledge base in the context of reproductive health and complete required continuing education credits online at their own pace and on their own schedule and responsibility. Interested psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied health professionals can also chose from HFO’s 17 other topic categories containing over 80 online continuing education courses -- all convenient, cost-effective, and theory- and evidence-based. Participants access and complete courses at their own pace, on their own schedule, anywhere there is Internet access. Completed CE courses can be revisited to review course updates and certificates reprinted at any time.

Boivin, J., Takefman, J. E., Tulandi, T., & Brender, W. (1995). Reactions to infertility based on extent of treatment failure. Fertil Steril, 63(4), 801-807.

Chandra, A., Martinez, G. M., Mosher, W. D., Abma, J. C., & Jones, J. (2005). Fertility, family planning, and reproductive health of US women: Data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. Vital Health Statistics, 23, 1-160.

Gjerdingen, D. K. & Yawn, B. P. (2007). Postpartum depression screening: importance, methods, barriers, and recommendations for practice. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 20 (3), 280-288.

Gjerdingen, D., Crow, S., McGovern, P., Miner, M., & Center, B. (2011). Changes in depressive symptoms over 0–9 months postpartum. Journal of Women’s Health, 20 (3), 381-386.

About HealthForumOnline:

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.

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Michelle Rodoletz, Ph.D.
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