A course presented by Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) aims to provide participants a comprehensive approach to assess upper extremity (UE) impairment and function, as well as a framework for customizing task-specific training. According to the course brochure, recent evidence indicates task-specific training as a key component in facilitating enduring changes in motor networks, learning, and function for stroke patients.
Recommended attendees for the “Task Specific Training for the Neurologic Upper Extremity: A Comprehensive Approach to Evaluation and Treatment” course include occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, physical therapists, and physical therapist assistants. The 2-day course is scheduled to be held from February 28 to March 1.
The brochure notes that the course will provide an overview of normal UE movement and function, followed by a review of common stroke-induced UE impairments. This includes the neural mechanisms that underlie the impairments, as well as how to assess them clinically. The course will also reportedly feature small breakout sessions to allow interaction with course faculty to practice UE functional tests and to discuss test choice, and assessment results for stroke patients. The course will then focus on task-specific training for stroke patients and guiding principles of task-specific training.
The brochure also states that additional components to be covered include guiding principles of task-specific training, tailoring training to individual assessment results, prognosis, goals, grading of tasks, and progression of training. This second part will also include small breakout sessions centered on delivering task-specific training in a range of practice settings and to individuals with varied clinical presentations.
Course objectives, according to the brochure, include describing normal upper-extremity movement, function, and use in daily life; identifying and listing the principles of task-specific training as they apply to the upper extremity; and describing methods to customize task-specific training to individual goals, grading and progressing training to challenge individual abilities.
Guest faculty slated to lead the course is Catherine E. Lang, PT, PhD, associate professor in the Program in Physical Therapy, Program in Occupational Therapy, and Department of Neurology at Washington University, St. Louis, and Rebecca L. Birkenmeier, OTR/L, OTD, research assistant professor in the Program in Occupational Therapy, Program in Physical Therapy, and Department of Neurology at Washington University.
Additional faculty from RIC includes Kimberly Waddell, MS, OTR/L. The brochure notes that Waddell works as a full-time occupational therapist in the Patient Recovery Unit at RIC.
To view the full course brochure or to register, click here