Chronic Disease Management for the Home Health Physical Therapist

This is an elective course in the Advanced Competency in Home Health program for Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants. However, any registrant may participate in this course for credit and you are not required to participate in the Advanced Competency program in order to complete this course.

Learn more about the Advanced Competency.

Session Description

Heart failure (HF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes mellitus (DM) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD) are four chronic conditions that are often either a primary or secondary diagnosis in our home health patients. These conditions can complicate a patient’s ability to progress with physical therapy. This 2-hour course focuses on understanding the role that a physical therapist can play in facilitating patients to become independent in managing their chronic disease(s).

Meet our course author:

Melissa Bednarek, PT, DPT, PhD, board-certified clinical specialist in cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy. Dr. Bednarek received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology and Psychology from St. Bonaventure University, followed by a Master of Physical Therapy from MCP Hahnemann University. Following four years of acute care experience, she returned to graduate school to complete a PhD in Physiology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon completion in 2009, she joined the faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she is currently an Associate Professor. Dr. Bednarek teaches exercise physiology, cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy and the pharmacology thread in the curriculum. To enhance her teaching, she has continued to practice in outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation and home health and became a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy in 2014.

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Course Code:




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Completion Instructions

Review contents, complete assessment with at least a 70% score, claim certificate, provide feedback through the course evaluation.

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Melissa Benarek, PT, DPT, PhD, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy

Learning objectives

Upon completing this online module, the participant will be able to perform the following:

  1. Identify the signs and symptoms of an acute exacerbation of HF and COPD.
  2. Identify signs and symptoms of increased and decreased blood sugar levels with DM.
  3. Understand the components of a lower extremity vascular exam.
  4. Describe critical components of a patient education for a patient with a chronic disease.
  5. Describe the benefit of aerobic exercise for a patient with a chronic disease.


Home Health Section

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1CoursePackage (6).mp4
2Assessment_Chronic Disease
Type:E-Learning Course
Credit Categories
Domains:Melissa Benarek, Home Health Advanced Competency, chronic disease, Home Health
Available discounts:
  • Non Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Member
    (until 12/31/2030)
  • Home Health
    (until 12/31/2030)
* Prices in US Dollar