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

Helping Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Patients Manage Their Psychosocial and Cognitive Symptoms

by Darcy Cox, PsyD, RPsych, ABPP-CN 4 CE Credits

This course reviews the etiology, epidemiology, and presentation of cognitive and psychological symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS), a disabling autoimmune disorder impacting 400,000 patients in the United States.  The psychological symptoms associated with MS can be significant, with roughly half of patients experiencing cognitive dysfunction secondary to the disease, and a point-prevalence rate of 20% for major depressive episodes. Depression, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, and physical disability all contribute to reduced quality-of-life in patients with MS, and need to be effectively managed by the patient and medical treatment teams. Treatment strategies for these symptoms, including behavioral, pharmacological, and lifestyle interventions are reviewed.


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 4 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
  • MS: The Three Major Disease Courses
  • Medical Regimens Associated with MS
  • The Picture of Depression in MS
  • Diagnosis and Assessment of Depression
  • Treatment of Depression in the MS Context
  • Other Mood Disorders in the MS Context
  • Diagnosis and Assessment of Cognitive Deficits Associated with MS
  • Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in MS Patients
  • Depression and Cognition Deficits: The MS Interaction
  • Impact on Family and Caregivers
  • Summary
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify the three major disease courses within the MS context.
  • Discuss the presentation, course, and risk for two concomitant psychological symptoms of MS, namely major depressive disorder and cognitive disorders.
  • Describe the two recommended assessment strategies associated with diagnosing depression and cognitive dysfunction in this population.
  • Identify three prominent treatment approaches (i.e., psychopharmacological, behavioral, and lifestyle changes) to facilitate improved quality of life for patients with MS.