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OTH 1410

Introduction to Human Disease


3 0 3


OTH 1410 Introduction to Human Disease (3) (A.S.) Three hours lecture per week. Prerequisites: satisfactory completion of BSC 2086C, DEP 2004, OTH 1001C, OTH 1014C. This course is an introduction to basic pathophysiology including etiology, signs and symptoms and rehabilitative treatment principles of various medical, surgical, orthopedic and neurological conditions common to individuals across the lifespan. Emphasis will be placed on the proper use of medical terminology associated with these conditions.


Introduction to Human Disease will prepare the student to understand the pathophysiological conditions frequently treated in occupational therapy. Content from Anatomy and Physiology I and II are an integral part of this course. Problem solving and critical thinking are incorporated into discussions of various diagnoses throughout the semester via the process of think like an OT. This course provides a theoretical base for developing appropriate treatment programs in subsequent semesters and being able to participate more fully in fieldwork experiences.

PREREQUISITES:Satisfactory completion of BSC 2086C, DEP 2004, OTH 1001C,

OTH 1014C




3/98, 11/98, 6/00, 12/01, 12/02, 1/06, 6/07, 11/07, 5/08, 8/09, 1/10, 6/13


Upon satisfactory completion of the course, the student will be able to:

1.0 Discuss the basic concepts of disease and healing.

1.1 Utilize the terms: etiology, pathology, pathogenesis, symptom, sign, diagnosis, prognosis, organic disease and functional disease, in the discussion of conditions treated in occupational therapy.

1.2 Describe the mechanisms of disease with focus on elements involved in pathogenesis including: predisposing factors, genetic diseases, infection, inflammation and repair, neoplasms, physical trauma and chemical agents, malnutrition, immune disorders, aging, psychological factors and mental disorders.

1.3 Describe methodology for prevention of disease and disability.

1.4 Understand the effects of physical and mental health, disability, heritable disease and predisposing genetic conditions, disability, disease processes and traumatic injury to the individual within the cultural context of family and society on occupational performance.

2.0 Discuss the etiology, pathology, symptomatology and treatment principles associated with common medical, surgical, orthopedic and neurological conditions treated in occupational therapy.

2.1 Describe a variety of disorders that can affect body functions and body structures which may require therapeutic intervention to promote performance in areas of occupation.

2.2 Using prior knowledge from the biological sciences, explain the basic anatomy and physiology of the system related to specific pathological processes.

2.3 Discuss the etiology, pathology, signs and symptoms, and prognosis of common disorders/diseases which may require occupational therapy intervention to promote performance in areas of occupation.

2.4 Discuss the medical treatment and rehabilitation treatment principles of common disorders/diseases to promote, restore, maintain health, modify/adapt to compensate for limitations and/or prevent disability.

2.5 Discuss the rehabilitative potential of common disorders/diseases and relate to occupational therapy treatment planning.

2.6 Discuss the importance of occupation to the individuals health and well being.

2.7 Understand the impact of illness, disability, disease processes and traumatic injury to the individual within the context of family and society.

2.8 Discuss the individuals perception of quality of life, well being and occupation to promote health and prevention of injury and disease.

3.0 Use proper medical terminology associated with the pathophysiological conditions.

3.1 Use selected root words, prefixes and suffixes which relate to the systems of the body and pathophysiological conditions.

3.2 Correctly use and spell medical terminology in all written and oral presentations.

3.3 Using prior knowledge, integrate medical terminology and abbreviations associated with pathophysiological conditions in class discussions and reporting patient/client responses.

3.4 Utilize occupational therapy terminology, with reference to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, appropriately in all oral and written communication.

4.0 Promote understanding of scholarship related to practice.

4.1 Articulate the importance of how scholarly activities and literature contribute to the development of the profession.

4.2 Locate and understand information, and articulate how the quality of the source must be considered when utilizing the content.

4.3 Read professional journals and compose written abstracts using correct format, spelling and grammar.

4.4 Demonstrate basic computer skills including word processing for writing.

4.5 Utilize data bases and search engines for research.

5.0 Promote understanding of social issues related to health and welfare needs

5.1 Review current publications and identify related health concerns and public awareness.

5.2 Review global social issues, health and welfare needs of populations with or at risk for disabilities and chronic health conditions.

5.3 Demonstrate an understanding of health literacy and the ability to educate the client, family and significant others to facilitate skills in areas of occupation, prevention, health maintenance, health promotion and safety.


1. Basic concepts of pathology

A. Terminology

B. Inflammation/Infection

C. Immune disorders

D. Genetic disorders

E. Metabolic disorders

i. Obesity

F. Endocrine disorders

i. Diabetes mellitus

G. Neoplasm

H. Cell injury & healing

I. Burns

2. Introduction to Vascular disorders

a. Review of structure & function

b. Vascular disorders

i. Thrombus /Embolus

ii. Atherosclerosis / arteriosclerosis

c. Structural defects

i. Aneurysm

ii. PAD /PVD

d. Cardiovascular disorders / review anatomy of heart

i. Hypertension

ii. CAD

iii. Myocardial infarction

iv. Arrhythmia

v. Treatment

e. Cardiopulmonary disorders

i. Review anatomy of respiratory system

ii. Symptoms of pulmonary disease

iii. Respiratory Diseases

3. Introduction to Neurology

a. Review Structure and Function of the Nervous System

i. Central Nervous System

ii. Peripheral Nervous System

iii. Autonomic Nervous System

4. Central Nervous System Disorders

a. Cerebral Vascular Accident /Stroke / Brain attack

i. Thrombolytic/ Embolic stroke

ii. Motor disorders

iii. Sensory disorders

iv. Cognitive disorders

v. Treatment

b. TIA

5. Conditions of the Central Nervous System

a. Encephalitis /meningitis

b. Brain Abscess

c. Tumors of the Brain

i. Glioma

ii. Meningioma

iii. Secondary metastases

d. Seizure Disorders / Epilepsy

e. Traumatic Brain Injury

6. Degenerative Diseases of the Central Nervous System

a. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

b. Huntingtons Chorea

c. Parkinsons Disease

d. Multiple Sclerosis

e. Myasthenia Gravis

7. Spinal Cord Disorders (CNS)

a. Traumatic Spinal cord injury

b. Brown-sequard syndrome

c. Poliomyelitis/post-polio syndrome

d. Posteriolateral sclerosis

e. Anterior cord syndrome

f. Central cord syndrome

g. Posterior cord syndrome

8. Peripheral Nerve Pathology (PNS)

a. Review anatomy and methods of repair

i. Causes of Nerve Injury

ii. Types of Damage

iii. Characteristics of Nerve Injury

iv. Signs of Recovery

b. Brachial Plexus Injury

1. Erb-Duchenne

2. Klumpke

c. Injury to Nerves of the Upper Extremity

i. Radial nerve

ii. Medial nerve

iii. Ulnar nerve

iv. Multiple nerve injury

d. Peripheral Neuropathy

i. Peripheral / Traumatic neuritis

ii. Toxic neuritis

iii. Acute polyneuritis

iv. Guillian-Barre Syndrome

9. Psychiatric Disorders

a. Introduction to psychiatric disorders

b. Dementia

c. Alzheimers Disease

d. Mood disorders

e. Anxiety disorders

f. Eating disorders

g. Substance abuse

10. Musculoskeletal disorders / Orthopedic

a. Review of Anatomy

i. Fractures

ii. Dislocations / Subluxations

iii. Tendon Strains and Sprains

b. Bone Disorders

i. Osteoporosis

ii. Osteomalacia / Ricketts

iii. Pagets Disease (osteitis deformans)

iv. Osteomyelitis

v. Osteogenic Sarcoma

c. Upper Extremity Disorders

i. Adhesive Capsulitis

ii. Complex regional pain syndrome(CRPS) or RSD

iii. Dupytrens contracture

iv. Carpal tunnel syndrome

v. Tendonitis & bursitis

d. Orthopedic Disorders of Children

i. Congenital Hip Dislocation

ii. Talipes Equinovarus ( club foot)

iii. Osteogenesis Imperfecta

iv. Muscular Dystrophy

v. Disorders of the spine

e. Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)

11. Immune diseases/ autoimmunity / Arthritis

a. Rheumatoid Arthritis

b. Other types of arthritis

i. Septic arthritis

ii. Hemophilic arthritis

iii. Scleroderma

iv. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

v. Gout

vi. Ankylosing Spondylitis

12. Renal & urologic disorders

a. Acute /chronic renal failure

b. Urinary tract infections

c. Urinary Incontinency

d. Neurogenic bladder

13. Relationship of Health Care to Social and Welfare Needs

14. Scholarly Activities

a. Use of professional journals

b. Review of current literature

c. Understand the use of and quality of data bases and search engines

15. Social Issues Related to Health and Welfare Needs

16. Neoplasms


Lectures PowerPoint Presentations



Discussion large group

Assignments written

Literature review

Review of newsstand publications

Weekly quizzes

Written exams

Interpersonal Communication


Quizzes & Assignments






Grading Scale:

A = 90-100

B = 80-89

C = 70-79

D = 60-69

F = 59 and below

A minimum grade of C is required in all occupational therapy assistant courses. Students who do not achieve a minimum grade of 70 in this course will not be able to progress in the OTA Program.

Initially developed 1/6/98 - Revised based on ACOTE 2011 OTA Standards

CDR Proposal Action Dates:

Date of Original Submission:10/1/97

Date of Last Review:3/98, 11/98, 6/00, 12/01, 12/02, 1/06, 6/07, 11/07, 5/08, 8/09, 1/10, 6/13

Date of Last Revision:11/19/07, 9/30/13


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