Preservice Health Training


The Preservice Health Training Project was developed out of a need to train healthcare workers to be responsive to the needs of persons with developmental disabilities. Each Website is designed to impart substantive knowledge to medical providers regarding developmental disabilities and to familiarize them with interacting with such individuals in a clinical setting. All PHT tutorials are based on multi-media, interactive, virtual patient presentations and are evidence-based. All include built-in assessment tools. Below are descriptions of and links to each tutorial.

Women’s Healthcare
This tutorial presents a physician conducting a reproductive examination on an individual with a cognitive developmental disability. The Carrie case illustrates treatment for a patient whose communication skills are somewhat limited and whose previous experience with a reproductive examination had increased her anxiety. Interacting with a personal assistant is also modeled. This tutorial could be useful for health providers, such as physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or students entering into any of these professions, who treat women’s reproductive health issues.

Nurse Practitioner Training
This tutorial presents two cases that model a nurse practitioner treating an adolescent with Down syndrome and an infant with developmental disabilities. The Julia case illustrates conducting an examination for a patient with Down syndrome whose intellectual disability alters her communication and some of her understanding. The Olivia case demonstrates a well-baby check-up with a 1-year-old infant who was born premature and has developmental delays. Both cases could be useful to physicians, nurse practitioners, and/or students entering into any of these professions.

Physician Assistant Training
This tutorial, similar to the Nurse Practitioner Training, presents two cases that model a physician assistant treating an adolescent with Down syndrome and an infant with developmental delays. The Julia case illustrates conducting a well-examination for a patient with Down syndrome whose intellectual disabilities alters her communication and some of her understanding. The Olivia case demonstrates a well-baby check-up with a 1-year-old infant who was born premature and has developmental delays. Both cases could be useful to physicians, physician assistants, and/or students entering into any of these professions.

Medical Students
This tutorial presents two cases that model physicians treating an individual with cerebral palsy and a patient with autism. The Bryan case illustrates treatment for a patient whose medical issues are confounded by his communication challenges and the cerebral palsy itself. The Jay case demonstrates communicating with and treating a 9-year-old child with autism. Both cases could be useful to physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and/or students entering into any of these professions.

Dental Healthcare
This tutorial presents two cases that model a dentist treating a 10-year old child who has Down syndrome and an adult patient who has dual sensory impairment (hearing and sight). The Hunter case illustrates treatment for a child whose age, communication difficulties, and overall understanding require different treatment approaches. The Daniel case demonstrates communicating with and treating an adult with deaf-blindness whose needs include a communication device and a personal assistant. Both cases could be useful to practicing dentists, dental faculty, or dental students entering a dental profession.

Mental Health
This module was created to improve mental health professionals’ abilities to provide competent, ethical services to adults with intellectual disabilities. This training tool, delivered via virtual patient scenarios and printed information, includes modules specifically directed toward disability etiquette, developmental and intellectual disabilities, accommodations, clinical considerations, ethics and legal issues, sexuality and relationships, and therapeutic progress and termination.  Supporting references and other resources are also listed.





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