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Foundations of Cognitive Impairments: Understanding Attention

presented by Karen L. McCulloch, PhD, PT, MS, NCS(E), FAPTA, FACRM

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial:  Karen McCulloch receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Nonfinancial:  Karen McCulloch has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:

This course is part of a series on cognitive impairments seen in neurologic conditions. The purpose of this course is to review attention-related issues relevant to physical therapists and other allied health staff. In particular, this course covers how to screen and identify possible attention problems, as well as how to perform testing that integrates attention into functional mobility skills.

Meet Your Instructor

Karen L. McCulloch, PhD, PT, MS, NCS(E), FAPTA, FACRM

Karen L. McCulloch is a professor in physical therapy in the Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Health Sciences, School of Medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she has taught entry-level and advanced-level students in neurorehabilitation since 1993. She has served in multiple roles within the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Attention Definition

This chapter answers the question, "what is attention?" The prerequisites of attention are covered, including: alert, orient, and select. Components of the brain involved in attention will also be discussed.

2. Types of Attention

In this chapter, the types of attention will be covered: sustained, focused, alternating, and divided. A case example will be discussed to show how modifications to an environment can reduce distractions and improve motor skills.

3. Dual-Task Performance: A Window on Attention

The link between dual-task performance impairments and fall risk/safety concerns will be covered in this chapter. Foundational literature in older adults will be discussed, as well as additional literature in patients with stroke, PD, and TBI.

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