40 Free Open Courseware Classes on Occupational Therapy

Published by Jennifer on July 01, 2010

Occupational therapy, often abbreviated as “OT,” is a field that is defined by the people who help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. Occupational therapists work with patients who have permanent disabilities, elderly patients or with people who are temporarily disabled yet who need to become re-adjusted to work and home life. This work often requires a broad knowledge of the human condition across physical, emotional and mental capabilities as well as knowledge about the tools available to bring those workers back into a ‘normal’ social environment.

This list of 40 free open courseware classes focuses on those tools, from human development and barriers to that development to workplace conditions to classes on how the brain affects adaptation after injury.

AgingHuman Development and Barriers

  1. Anatomy and Physiology: This four-week course covers all the basics involved with the various body systems, including respiratory, nervous and digestive systems [Western Governors University].
  2. Health Across the Life Span: Frameworks, Contexts, and Measurements: This course covers several themes, including contributions of biological and environmental factors to health and human development [Johns Hopkins].
  3. Health and Fitness: This course sets a baseline for ‘normal’ human fitness, including nutrition, emotional health and disease and body systems [Western Governors University].
  4. Health Assessment and Promotion: This course focuses on the complete health assessment, the nursing process, and its relationship to the prevention and early detection of disease in clients across the life span [UMass Boston].
  5. Health Issues for Aging Populations: Introduces the study of aging, its implications for individuals, families, and society, and the background for health policy related to older persons [Johns Hopkins].
  6. Human Growth and Development: One can follow various developmental “tracks” longitudinally from birth to death, following the development of motor, language or cognitive capacities and skills from the beginning of life to its end [Tufts].
  7. Managing Long-Term Care Services for Aging Populations: This course considers long-term service delivery programs designed to meet the special needs of seniors [Johns Hopkins].
  8. Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology: Become familiar with the immunology and pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases that may predominantly affect joints but also affect multiple organ systems of the body in some diseases [Tufts].
  9. Parkinson’s Disease Workshop: This six-week summer workshop explored different aspects of PD [MIT].
  10. Special Care in Dentistry: This course focuses on dentistry, but it also broaches special needs dental patients who often need physical therapy [Tufts].
  11. Substance Abuse and the Family: This course focuses on families with members who are substance abusers, and the ways in which these families function [UMass Boston].

Occupational HealthOccupational Health Topics

  1. Action Research for Educational, Professional, and Personal Change: This course covers techniques for and critical thinking about the evaluation of changes in educational practices and policies in schools, organizations, and informal contexts [UMass Boston].
  2. Collaborative Consultation and Larger Systems: How do individuals and families interface with larger systems, and how do therapists intervene collaboratively? [UMass Boston].
  3. Confronting the Burden of Injuries: This course is intended to guide students interested in working on injury control in areas with little to no tradition in injury prevention from a public health perspective [Johns Hopkins].
  4. Changing the Face of American Healthcare: This seminar invites the student to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of our health care system [Notre Dame].
  5. Disease and Society in America: This course examines the growing importance of medicine in culture, economics and politics [MIT].
  6. Introduction to Clinical Pain Problems: This course introduces the general principles of biomedical evaluation and management of common clinical pain problems [Tufts].
  7. Introduction to Mental Health and Disaster Preparedness: This presentation introduces the topics of disaster mental health services, mental health surge capacity, and psychiatric first aid [Johns Hopkins].
  8. Measuring Health Disparities: Measuring Health Disparities is designed to be accessible to a broad audience of practitioners across all sectors of the public health workforce [Open Michigan].
  9. Medical Product Quality Systems: Learn about the essential elements of Quality System Regulations (QSR’s) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) [University of California at Irvine].
  10. Nutrition and Medicine: This course teaches basic nutrition principles that are relevant to other medical courses such as pathology, growth and development, and pharmacology [Tufts].
  11. Occupational Health and Vulnerable Worker Populations: This course focuses on strategies for identifying and removing barriers that affect health and work performance [Johns Hopkins].
  12. Physical Intelligence: This course takes an innovative, hands-on approach to explore the kinesthetic intelligence of the body as applicable to a wide range of disciplines [MIT].
  13. Population Medicine: The purpose of this course is to shift your attention away from the pathophysiologic effects of disease on individuals and refocus it on the health of the public [Tufts].
  14. Principles of Industrial Hygiene: This course provides an introduction to the field of industrial hygiene and to occupational health in general [Johns Hopkins].

DisabilityBehavioral and Brain

  1. Abnormal Language: Discussion of specific language impairments, autism, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, normal aging, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hemispherectomy and aphasia [MIT].
  2. Brain Mechanisms for Hearing and Speech: An advanced course covering anatomical, physiological, behavioral, and computational studies of the central nervous system relevant to speech and hearing [MIT].
  3. Cognitive & Behavioral Genetics: How genetics can add to our understanding of cognition, language, emotion, personality, and behavior [MIT].
  4. Introduction to Social Psychology: The goal of this class is to provide students with a working knowledge of social psychology [Notre Dame].
  5. Marriage & Family Relationships: This is an introductory course on marriage and the family, intended to present a more balanced understanding than your own personal experience might give you [Utah State University].
  6. Masculinity, Sexual Behavior & Health: Reading seminar focusing on male adolescent health and sexual issues and explores the meaning of masculinity and the impact of masculine beliefs on men’s health and health care use [Johns Hopkins].
  7. Neural Basis of Movement: This undergraduate course is an introduction to the field of motor control and motor learning [MIT].
  8. Psychosocial Aspects of Visual Impairment: Learn about the psychosocial aspects of vision loss. Coping techniques and issues of self-esteem are explored, along with principles of self-determination [UMass Boston].
  9. Sensation And Perception: This course provides an introduction to important philosophical questions about the mind, specifically those that are intimately connected with contemporary psychology and neuroscience [MIT].
  10. Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health: This course is designed to help students develop basic literacy regarding social concepts and processes that influence health status and public health interventions [Johns Hopkins].
  11. Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care: This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to diagnose (understand) community, individual, and organizational behaviors and change processes in developing countries and in cross-cultural settings [Johns Hopkins].
  12. Social Attitudes and Public Opinion: This course examines the nature of attitudes, beliefs, and values, and the influences which individuals’ attitudes have upon their behavior [UMass Boston].
  13. Statistical Methods in Brain and Cognitive Science: This course emphasizes statistics as a powerful tool for studying complex issues in behavioral and biological sciences, and explores the limitations of statistics as a method of inquiry [MIT].
  14. Stress Management: This is an introductory course focusing on the causes of stress, recognizing personal stressors and life change management for stress control [Weber State University].

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