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    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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Musculoskeletal Management
    Subject Musculoskeletal Medicine
    EFTS 0.125
    Points 15 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,578.88
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    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 21 279 1423 

    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.


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

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