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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Facilitating Adjustment in Families with a Chronically-Ill Child

by Paula Finestone, PhD 5 CE Credits

The diagnosis of a chronic illness in a dependent child has implications for the entire family system. This online course  identifies the specific stressors resulting from parenting a chronically-ill child. How the patient’s needs and behaviors are impacted by the diagnosis and how these aspects can alter family dynamics and parenting style are discussed. Further, the impact on the marital dyad, as well as "healthy" siblings, is addressed. Methods to assess for maladaptive coping (i.e., post-traumatic stress symptoms) are reviewed and evidence-based approaches to enhance coping and facilitate adjustment within the system are presented.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 5 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Operationalizing Pediatric Chronic Illness
  • What are the Stressors for Families and Caregivers?
  • Theories of Caregiver Adaptation and Adjustment
  • The Impact of Caregiving on the Family and the Patient
  • An Underlying Theoretical Framework for Behavioral Interventions
  • Assessment
  • Advice about Treatment Planning in this Population
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Benefits of Social Support
  • Fostering Relationships with the Healthcare Team
  • Advocating for Social Policy
  • Conclusion
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify three categories of specific stressors in marital relationships resulting from parenting a chronically-ill child.
  • Describe four ways in which the patient’s, as well as the sibling’s, needs and behaviors are impacted by a child’s chronic illness and can alter parenting style.
  • Utilize strategies to assess seven potential maladaptive coping and post-traumatic stress symptoms in parents of chronically-ill children.
  • Recognize the efficacy of six evidence-based interventions to facilitate adjustment in these families.