Interdisciplinary Approaches for Management of Fall Risk among People with Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, typically progressive, inflammatory mediated disease resulting in demyelination of the central nervous system. Although MS can lead to motor, sensory, psychological, and cognitive deficits, falls prevention for people with MS has only recently received attention in research or clinical arenas. Fortunately, falls are now recognized as a considerable consequence of MS. Research to date has also highlighted the importance of recognizing and addressing diverse influences on fall risk.
On May 1, 2018, Elizabeth Peterson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, will present a webinar titled Interdisciplinary and Evidence-based Approaches to Supporting Management of Diverse Fall Risk Factors among Community-dwelling People with Multiple Sclerosis. The webinar will feature content pertaining to physical, environmental, psychological, activity-related and behavioral influences on fall risk among people living with MS. Dr. Peterson will also describe numerous evidence-based resources and strategies that interdisciplinary team members can use to work collaboratively with clients with MS to develop comprehensive, client-centered intervention plans. The presentation content will be informed by the Person-Environment-Occupation framework, a framework widely used by occupational therapists; the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; lessons learned from geriatric fall prevention research; and MS-specific research findings. Studies conducted by members of the International MS Falls Prevention Research Network will be featured, with emphasis on their implications for clinical practice. This webinar will be relevant to health care professionals who seek to support community-based people with MS in their efforts to manage fall risk and live life to its fullest.

Dr. Elizabeth Peterson is a Clinical Professor and Director of Professional Education in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her research interests focus on falls and fear of falling: epidemiology, measurement, and interventions for community-dwelling older adults and people living with multiple sclerosis. Her work as a member of the Boston University Roybal Center team led to the development of Matter of Balance- the first intervention to apply self-management principles to the problem of fear of falling. She is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and represented AOTA on the Expert Panel to update the Fall Prevention Guideline of the American Geriatrics Society and the British Geriatrics Society. She is a member of the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) Falls Free™ Coalition, a founding member of the International MS Falls Prevention Research Network and she currently leads the Illinois Fall Prevention Coalition.

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