Rheumatoid Arthritis and OT: Evidence and Discussion with Cheryl Crow (CE Course)

Rheumatoid Arthritis and OT: Evidence and Discussion with Cheryl Crow CE Course for OTs
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Then, join the OT Potential Club to take your test and earn a certificate.

This course is approved for occupational therapists by the AOT

Course Description

Released May 10, 2021 from Aurora, NE

Over the past few decades, our understanding of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has evolved quite a bit. And, that means the prognosis of RA patients has improved in turn. Many of the “classic” deformities associated with RA are becoming less common. And, as we learn more and more about RA and its impacts on patients, your OT care should evolve accordingly.

In this 1-hour podcast course, we’ll begin by discussing a research review that covers the diagnosis and treatment of RA. Then, we’ll bring on our expert guest, Cheryl Crow, MOT, OTR/L. Cheryl Crow is an occupational therapist who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for eighteen years.

In this episode, we’ll dive into RA therapy considerations that go beyond addressing joint pain. We’ll discuss approaching your therapy from a self-management lens, so you can empower those with RA to take more control over their daily lives and health. 

This is a vastly underserved population, and we hope to ignite your passion for providing improved care to the people in your community!

Primary Research Explored

When you log in, be sure to check out the OT Potential Club’s written breakdown of the following research article, then share your questions and thoughts with fellow practitioners.

Sparks, J. A. (2019). Rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 170(1). doi:10.7326/aitc201901010.

Secondary Research 

Siegel, P., Tencza, M., Apodaca, B., & Poole, J. L. (2016). Effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for adults with rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(1). doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.023176

Zangi, H. A., Ndosi, M., Adams, J., Andersen, L., Bode, C., Boström, C., . . . Van Tubergen, A. (2015). EULAR recommendations for patient education for people with inflammatory arthritis. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 74(6), 954-962. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206807

Learning Objectives

  • Based on the research, you will be able to recognize the systemic manifestations of RA.  
  • Based on the research, you will be able to identify self-management interventions that fall within the OT scope of practice.


Intro (5 minutes)

Breakdown and analysis of journal article (10 minutes)

  • Why was this paper written?
  • Quick refresher: What is RA?
  • How has our understanding of RA evolved over the past few decades?
  • How is RA diagnosed?
  • What are common extra-articular manifestations of RA?
  • What are common assessments used for RA patients?
  • What is the role of OT in the treatment of RA?
  • What are the roles of other health professionals in the treatment of RA?
  • Authors’ conclusion and recommendations
  • Takeaways for OT practitioners

Discussion on practical implications for OTs (with guest Cheryl Crow) (45 minutes)

  • Can you tell us about how OT and RA have been linked in your life?
  • What were your general impressions of the article? (Annals of Internal Medicine)
  • Do you think OTs have a role to play in caring for people with RA?
  • Have you seen an occupational therapist for your RA?
  • At what point in an RA patient’s journey do you think they would be most likely to be referred to an OT?
  • The article mentioned 4 assessments. Were you familiar with them? Are there any others you would recommend OTs consider?
  • Are there specific treatments options you would recommend OTs consider?
  • What are some resources for OTs interested in learning about more specific interventions?
  • Do you think there is a need for occupational therapy to have an expanded role in the management of RA?

Contact Hours

1 hour (0.1 AOTA CEUs)

Target Audience/Educational Level

Our target audience is occupational therapy practitioners who are looking to establish a baseline understanding of where the research stands on OT treatment for RA. The educational level is introductory.

Instructional Methods/Registration/Special Needs Requests/Cancellation Policy

This course is an independent/self-study course delivered via podcast on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. Explore your listening options on the OT Potential Podcast page.

If you need accommodations to take this course, please contact us and we will address your needs on an individual basis.

If this course were to be cancelled, please see our cancellation policy on our terms page.

Course Completion Requirements

In order to receive a certificate for this course, you must first listen to the podcast in its entirety. Then, you will need to take the test (found at the top of this page) and earn 75% or higher. If you pass, a certificate will be automatically generated and sent to your email.


Cheryl Crow, MOT, OTR/L:

Cheryl Crow is an occupational therapist who’s lived with rheumatoid arthritis for eighteen years. Cheryl founded the online education company Arthritis Life, which educates, empowers and supports people with arthritis. 

Through Arthritis Life, Cheryl has produced a plethora of educational and entertaining videos showcasing arthritis life hacks, basic arthritis education and humorous takes on real life with RA. She also shares encouragement, educational tidbits, and other patient’s heartfelt stories on the Arthritis Life Podcast. Lastly, Cheryl has created a comprehensive online self-management program called the Rheumatoid Arthritis Roadmap

Cheryl is a fierce advocate for meeting the full picture of patients’ needs beyond joint pain. She’s an active volunteer with the Arthritis Foundation, American College of Rheumatology, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. She’s also a freelance writer whose publications have been featured on EverydayHealth.com, CreakyJoints.org, The Mighty and more.

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L:

Sarah Lyon, OTR/L headshot

Sarah’s passion is helping fellow OT practitioners translate evidence into daily practice. Sarah earned her BA in religion from St. Olaf College, then earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from New York University in 2011. Since then, she’s worked in numerous facilities, including a critical access hospital, an acute trauma hospital, and a state inpatient psychiatric hospital.

In 2011, Sarah launched OT Potential because she realized we needed a reliable source of quality occupational therapy-related content and resources. She has also had the opportunity to create content for brands like WebPT, MedBridge, Saebo, and NeuroLutions.

She launched the OT Potential Club in 2019 to marry her love of simplifying complex topics with her desire to help therapists access the most important OT-related research released each year.

Sarah is a prairie girl at heart, which is why she returned to her hometown to raise her children in Aurora, Nebraska (home of the strobe light).

This course was designed to meet your continuing education requirements

Every state, entity, and country has different requirements for what counts as continuing education, and we have done our best to make sure it meets yours. Please double check with particular requirements, and let us know if you have any questions about whether it meets your needs.

NBCOT renewal:
This course is designed to meet the requirements of NBCOT PDUs. But, you are advised to make your own determination as to whether the course will be beneficial to your practice. NBCOT does not endorse any specific professional development units.

See #14 on the NBCOT Renewal Activities Chart to see what this podcast would qualify under. (OT Potential is considered a 3rd party entity.)

We are AOTA approved!!
Works for NBCOT PDUs!

State license renewal (within the US):

Our OT Potential Podcast is intended to meet the requirements for “online” and “independent/self-study” courses. If you have any questions about your particular continuing education requirements, please check with the licensing entity in your state.