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

Schizophrenia: Understanding, Assessing, and Preventing Medical Comorbidity

by Bernadette Hayburn, PsyD 3 CE Credits

People with Schizophrenia are at increased risk for developing medical illness, including Cardiovascular Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, and  Dyslipidemia, which may exacerbate their psychiatric illness and contribute to their high mortality rates (i.e., two–four times greater than that found in the general population). Lifestyle factors, including poor diet, physical inactivity, and cigarette smoking likely play a contributing role. Nonetheless, co-occurring medical problems in this population often remain undetected until the diseases are in the advanced phases and are less responsive to intervention. To promote the overall health and quality of life among people with Schizophrenia, it is imperative that clinicians obtain a better understanding of the health problems these patients are susceptible to. This course provides an overview of common medical conditions found in Schizophrenic patients. In addition, methods of assessing and managing behavioral risk factors associated with these disorders 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 3 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
  • Understanding Medical Comorbidity in People with Schizophrenia
  • Consequences Associated with Medical Comorbidity
  • Cigarette Smoking and Schizophrenia
  • Obesity and Schizophrenia
  • Assessment for Medical Comorbidity
  • Prevention and Management of Medical Comorbidity in People with Schizophrenia: The Theoretical Basis
  • Recommended Intervention Strategies for Smokers with Schizophrenia
  • Weight Management for Schizophrenia
  • Other Recommendations
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify 4 common medical problems found in people with Schizophrenia.
  • Discuss 3 risk factors contributing to the elevated rates of medical comorbidity in this population.
  • Select from 2 methods of assessing behavioral risk factors in people with Schizophrenia.
  • Indicate 3 methods of managing unhealthy lifestyle factors in this population.