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MSME707 Musculoskeletal Management

Focuses on the prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. Includes an overview of the principles of epidemiology, critical understanding and analysis of research, clinical decision analysis, and clinical epidemiology.

This paper provides a macro-to-micro view of musculoskeletal pain management. Students will discuss problems involved in defining, identifying and managing musculoskeletal pain and disability, using low-back pain as the index condition. A number of perspectives for managing the problem of low-back pain will be adopted, using epidemiological, public health, evidence-based decision-making and integrating outcome measurement as a systematic approach to reduce disability, distress and the economic burden of this problem. Students will also develop knowledge of single-subject experimental design as a strategy for measuring clinical outcomes for individual patients.

Paper title Musculoskeletal Management
Paper code MSME707
Subject Musculoskeletal Medicine
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,535.88
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to
MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGCertMSM, PGDipHealSc, PGDipMSM, PGDipPhty, MPhty
Suitable for appropriately qualified allied health professionals such as medical practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, etc.

Further information:

Administrator Client Services
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 378 6161 

Teaching staff
Paper Convenor: Dr Bronwyn Lennox Thompson
Paper Structure

This paper consists of eight modules covering the extent of the problem of low-back pain; back pain management history; developing an evidence-based question; levels of prevention; using the research evidence base for clinical decisions and outcome measurement strategies; single-subject experimental design for clinical outcome measurement.

Students will also complete two internally assessed assignments and a final written examination.

Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

Material is delivered electronically. There are eight fortnightly online teaching sessions.

There is no single textbook for this paper. Readings will be provided for students to access via the Library, with additional readings and other multimedia material provided via Blackboard.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will have developed a broad perspective on managing a common musculoskeletal pain problem. They will be aware of the relevance of each aspect of back pain management, from primary prevention through to chronic disability management. They will also have considered the problem of back pain from a global as well as national and interdisciplinary perspective.

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Further Information

Administrator Client Services
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel 64 3 364 1086

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system