Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Rehabilitation Counseling
RCS 6080
Section 3644
Fall, 2006

Tuesdays 9:35 AM to 11:30 AM in Room G210
Thursdays 1:55 PM to 2:45 PM in Room G103


Steven R. Pruett, Ph.D., CRC

Department of Behavioral Science & Community Health

Rehabilitation Counseling Program
of Public Health & Health Professions
HPNP, 101 S. Newell Dr., Rm. 4172

Office Phone: 273-6745
Office Hours: By appointment



Exams, Paper, and Projects etc.

Grading Criteria

Class Schedule &
Reading Assignments


(Please check the website before & after our class meets for readings, weblinks, and updates - it would be a good idea to bookmark it)

General Class Policies

  • Attendance, class participation, and professional conduct will be expected at all times.
  • Students will be expected to complete the assigned reading(s) prior to each class session.
  • Students with disabilities requiring accommodations are encouraged to meet with this instructor as soon as possible.

Knowledge and Skill Objectives:

Rehabilitation counselor knowledge and skill proficiencies related to medical information as per the COUNCIL ON REHABILITATION EDUCATION (CORE) ACCREDITATION MANUAL ( as outlined below:


Knowledge Learning Objectives


In this course, you will:

  • Learn a basic vocabulary of common medical terminology, medical treatments, and procedures
  • Understand medical information related to chronic illness, injury, and other disabling conditions.
  • Learn how to access reliable print and electronic medical information resources (e.g. PubMed).
  • Understand how assistive technology can improve a person with disabilities functioning.
  • Relate medical information to the resultant functional implications for persons with disabilities
  • Relate medical information to rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation planning.
  • Understand the roles of various health care professionals and the process of interdisciplinary health and rehabilitation teamwork
  • Identify the potential benefits of medical treatments, services, and approaches to reduce or accommodate for the functional limitations imposed by disabling health conditions.
  • Identify the vocational, social, and independent living implications of various disabilities.


Skill Learning Objectives


Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain basic medical aspects of the human body system and disabilities and translate medical information into rehabilitation goals and recommendations and communicate this information effectively to a consumer, employer, and other stakeholders.
  • Obtain up-to-date information concerning medical conditions, and treatment modalities.
  • Assist clients in understanding the functional implications of their medical condition to promote personal empowerment.
  • Assist clients in assessing the potential benefits of medical treatments, recommendations, services, accommodations, and assistive technology.
  • Convey a working knowledge of the common the psychosocial (including vocational) implications of various conditions and treatments.
  • Communicate with and function effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Use medical reference/resource books, continuing education, journals, and professional consultation for keeping up to date on medical information

Required Text

  • Falvo, D. (2005).  Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.  ISBN: 0-7637-3166-8.


  • This book should be available at the Health Science Center Bookstore.

Recommended References and Resources

Frank, R.G., & Elliot, T.R. (Eds.) (2000).  Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology.  Washington DC:  American Psychological Association.

Brodwin, M.G., Tellez, F.A., & Brodwin, S.K. (Eds.) (2002). Medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of disability (2nd ed.).  Athens, GA: Elliott & Fitzpatrick.

Gallagher-Lepak, S., Deery, K., Chan, F. Murphy, C.M., & Leahy, M.J. (2005).  Clinical pharmacology in rehabilitation case management.  In F. Chan, M.J. Leahy, & J.L. Saunders (Eds.). Case management for rehabilitation health professionals (2nd ed.), Vol. 2. (pp. 64-86).  Osage Beach, MO: Aspen Professional Services.

Lubkin, I.M. & Larsen, P.D. (Eds.) (2006).  Chronic Illness: Impact and Interventions (6th ed.).  Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Lynch, R.T. (2005).  Promotion of health and enhanced life functioning for individuals with traumatic injuries and chronic health conditions.  In F. Chan, M.J. Leahy, & J.L. Saunders (Eds.). Case management for rehabilitation health professionals (2nd ed.), Vol. 2. (pp. 44-63).  Osage Beach, MO: Aspen Professional Services.

Rimmer, J.H. (1999).  Health promotion for people with disabilities: The emerging paradigm shift from disability prevention to prevention of secondary conditions.  Physical Therapy, 79, 495-502.

Wright B. (1983).  Physical disability: A psychosocial approach (2nd ed.).  New York: Harper & Row.

Zaretsky, H.H., Richter, E.F., & Eisenberg, M.G. (Eds.) (2005).  Medical Aspects of Disability (3rd ed.).  New York: Springer.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).

Merck Manual of Medical Information: available on-line at

Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary: available for purchase from

Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary: available for purchase from

On-line Medical Dictionary:

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR): available for purchase from

International Classification of Functioning (ICF).  Available online at


Inner Body:

Digital Anatomist:^Page+2

Health People:


Lectures, Quiz, Exams, Paper, Resource Guide and Attendance

Lectures:  Each lecture on a particular disability will cover (a) a brief description of the disease or disability, (b) potential functional limitations, (c) vocational implications and limitations, and (d) potential accommodations and assistive devices.  Each student is expected to read the assigned readings before the class period and to print off the lecture notes for the day from the course website (

Quiz: There will be one quiz on material from the body systems and medical terminology lectures that will be given in class.  The quiz will be worth 30 points.

Examinations: Three (3) examinations will be given during the semester. These will these will be in-class tests and will be generally be multiple choice, short answer and may contain a short essay.  There will be 90 points possible on each exam for a total of 270 points.

Disability Paper: Each student will write a paper on a particular disability/medical condition. The purpose of this is to increase your knowledge of medical, functional, vocational and independent living implications of a specific disability or medical condition. You are STRONGLY urged to choose a topic that will increase your knowledge base.  You should NOT choose the same disability topic as may be assigned for a paper in another class (e.g. Psychosocial Aspects of Disability). This assignment will be worth 100 points. 

There are three items throughout the semester that are due for the paper.  First, a topic area must be selected and handed in to Dr. Pruett no later than September 7, 2006 (5 points).  Second, an outline of the paper with key references (in APA style) is due no later than October 5, 2006 (10 points).  Finally, the final draft of the paper is due no later than November 14, 2006 (85 points).

The paper must include the following information on the selected topic:

  • Description of the topic (prevalence, incidence rates, causes, symptoms, etc.) - 10 points
  • Psychosocial implications (i.e., integrating the information you have learned in the Psychosocial Class) - 15 points
  • Potential functional limitations - 15 points
  • Vocational implications and limitations - 15 points
  • Accommodations, treatments, strategies, and assistive devices available to reduce the functional and vocational limitations - 10 points
  • Overall style, quality, and use of person-first language - 10 points
  • References and use of APA style (5th ed.) - 10 points

The topic paper must be typed, double-spaced (approximately 10-12 pages excluding references), and in APA 5th ed. Style.  You are expected to search journals, chapters, books and read at least 10 additional references, not counting your assigned readings.  You should prioritize your searches to current documents (e.g. last 10-15 years).  Do not rely on web-based sites only.  You are expected to review the PROFESSIONAL literature about your topic.  Each paper is expected to be logically organized, grammatically correct, proofread and generally neat.


NOTE:  If you would like suggestions on how to improve your paper you must turn in a draft in at least two weeks before the final due date (10/31/06) AND request feedback for improvement.  Any paper turned in within two weeks of the final due date will be considered a final version and graded “as is.”


Resource Guide:  You are to develop a resource guide for rehabilitation intervention, assistive technology or a health promotion program that is designed to improve functioning due to limitations associated with chronic medical illnesses.  Your resource guide can be presented in a folder, binder or website.  You are encouraged to include photographs, sketches and additional materials that would be helpful for a reader of your resource guide (for example:  photos of different types of wheelchairs or hearing aids).  The intervention or assistive technology topic should come from the list below (unless Dr. Pruett pre-approves your topic).  These topics are for improvement and maintenance of health and wellness (not surgical or pharmaceutical in nature).


  1. Mobility aids
  2. Transportation aids
  3. Communication aids/systems
  4. Orthoses
  5. Prostheses
  6. Service animals
  7. Oxygen therapy
  8. Mechanical ventilators
  9. Ergonomics (please specify context such as office, health care, etc)
  10. Respiratory therapy & breathing training
  11. Smoking cessation models
  12. Pressure garments
  13. Sensory aids for vision loss
  14. Sensory aids for hearing loss
  15. TNS (transcutaneous nerve stimulation)
  16. Relaxation training/self-hypnosis
  17. Acupuncture
  18. Massage
  19. Diet/nutrition
  20. Biofeedback
  21. Catherization options & bowel/bladder management
  22. Yoga
  23. Telehealth or telemedicine
  24. Functional restoration, work hardening or occupational rehabilitation
  25. Homeopathy
  26. Art &/or music therapy
  27. Seating and positioning systems
  28. Adaptive devices and methods for recreational pursuits
  29. T’ai Chi
  30. “Renewing Life” programs
  31. Mindfulness meditation or mindfulness-based stress reduction
  32. Memory retraining and cognitive rehabilitation


Your are to select a topic that different and unrelated to your disability topic paper (for example if you pick Amputations for your disability topic, then do not select Prostheses or Mobility aids or Transportation aids for your health resource guide).  Additionally, select a topic that is new and unfamiliar, but interesting to you.  Grading of the resource guide will be based on the comprehensiveness and professional quality.  Sources of all materials should be identified on the picture or item and in a bibliography.  The resource guide is due 11/21.

Academic Integrity:  Each student is bound by the academic honesty guidelines of the University and the student conduct code printed in the Graduate Catalog.   The Honor Code states:  "We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity."  Cheating or plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and inexcusable behavior.

Attendance:  Attendance, class participation, and professional conduct will be expected at all times from each student.  Excessive absences will result in a lowering of the grade by one level.

Counseling:  Students may occasionally have personal issues that arise in the course of pursuing higher education or that may interfere with their academic performance. Students facing problems are encouraged to seek confidential assistance at the University of Florida Counseling Center, 352-392-1575, or Student Mental Health Services, 352-392-1171. Visit their web sites for more information: or Crisis intervention is always available 24/7 from the Alachua County Crisis Center: 352-264-6789.

Students requiring classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office.  The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation. 

"I wish to fully include students with disabilities in this course.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you need any accommodations in the curriculum, instruction, or assessments of this course to enable you to fully participate.  All information will remain confidential to the extent possible."

Grading Criteria


Points Each

Total Points

1 quiz



3 examinations



Research paper



Resource guide






A = 90-100% of possible points (450-500 points)

B+ = 85-89% of possible points (425-449 points)

B = 80-84% of possible points (400-424 points)

C+ = 75-79% of possible points (375-399 points)

C = 70-74% of possible points (350-374 points)

Class Schedule and Reading Assignments



Reading Assignment(s)

Lecture notes

August 24

Introduction & Overview of course 

Person-First & Disabling Language 

Chapter 1

Lynch & Thomas (1994)


August 29

International Classification of Functioning (ICF)

Body Systems

ICF Beginner’s Guide

Ahn (2005)

ICF ppt 

Body Systems ppt

August 31

Medical Terminology

Lynch (2005)

Appendix A, B & D


September 5

Health-related behaviors/health promotion (Guest Lecturer:  Dr. Ellen Lopez)

Healthy People 2010 Leading Health Indicators

CDC Disability & Health


September 7

APA style

Research Paper Topic Due



September 12

Accommodations and Assistive Technology

(Guest Lecturer: Roxanna Bendixen)

Chapter 17


September 14

Quiz on Medical Terminology



September 19

Traumatic Brain Injury (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Linda Shaw)

Chapter 2


September 21

Stroke and Hemiplegia



September 26

Cerebral Palsy & Spina Bifida

Epilepsy (Lecturer: Dr. Russell Bauer)


CP ppt

SB ppt

Epilepsy ppt

September 28

Multiple Sclerosis (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Mary Ellen Young)

Chapter 3


October 3

Psychiatric Disabilities 

Introduction to Pharmacology

Chapter 6

Appendix C



October 5

Hearing Impairments (Lecturer: Dr. Alice Holmes)

Research Paper Outline Due 

Chapter 5


October 10

Visual Disabilities (Guest Lecturer: Ms. Madeline Davidson)

Spinal Cord Injuries

Chapter 4

 SCI ppt

old visual disabilities ppt

October 12

Exam #1



October 17

Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias

Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities 

Chapter 6



October 19

PubMed Searches (Guest Lecturer: Nancy Schaeffer)

in room C2-20


pdf handout

October 24


Diabetes Mellitus & Peripheral Vascular Disorders

Chapter 8 & 9

pdf glossary 

HIV ppt

Diabetes & PVD ppt

October 26

Hematological Disorders

Chapter 8



October 31

Rheumatoid and Autoimmune Conditions

Pulmonary Disorders 

Chapters 14 & 12



November 2

Exam #2



November 7

Gastrointestinal Conditions/Ostomy Surgeries (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Laura Perry)

Cardiovascular Disease (Guest Lecturer: Dr. Mary Ellen Young)

Chapter 10

Chapter 11



November 9

Urinary Tract and Renal Disease

Chapter 13


November 14

Burns  (Guest Lecturer:  Dr. Tom Kerkoff)

Wound Healing & Plastic surgery

Disability papers due

Chapter 15



November 16

Cancers (Guest Lecturer:  Dr. Bryan Weber)

Chapter 16

last year's ppt on cancer 

November 21

Orthopedic Impairments

Resource guide due



November 23

Thanksgiving Holiday (NO CLASS)



November 28

Chronic Pain Syndromes

Substance Use Disorders

 Chapter 7



November 30

Complementary/Alternative Medicine



December 5

 Exam #3




Last updated 11/29/06