Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    This paper is intended to provide practising physiotherapists with specific knowledge and skills to apply in occupational health practice, and includes the assessment, management, prevention and treatment of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, and the role of government regulatory bodies and statutory authorities in occupational health practice.

    This paper meets the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) vocational rehabilitation competencies.

    About this paper

    Paper title Occupational Health Physiotherapy
    Subject Physiotherapy
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PHTX 539
    Limited to
    MPhty, PGCertPhty, PGDipPhty

    This paper is restricted to health professionals.
    Qualifications are restricted to physiotherapists.

    Paper runs subject to numbers.

    Teaching staff

    Paper Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Meredith Perry

    Teaching staff: Staff and guest lecturers with content specific knowledge contribute to this paper.

    Paper Structure
    Topics covered in this paper include:
    • Ergonomics
    • Worksite assessment
    • Risk factors
    • Injury prevention
    • Vocational rehabilitation
    • Management of persistent pain and disability
    • Legislation
    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

    This paper is taught in modules with fortnightly audioconferences via Zoom.

    No textbooks are required for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    On completion of this paper students will be able to:

    • Apply ergonomics principles in a worksite assessment
    • Analyse a task and evaluate findings choosing appropriate worksite assessment tools
    • Demonstrate an advanced ability to communicate information effectively
    • Identify and critique risk factors that make a worker susceptible to discomfort, pain and injury (including biomechanical, psychosocial, cultural and environmental factors) and relate evidence on risk factors to occupational health physiotherapy practice
    • Synthesise current injury prevention literature and formulate an injury prevention plan for a selected industry
    • Analyse and synthesise current evidence on vocational rehabilitation and the role of occupational health team members
    • Demonstrate awareness of current evidence on assessment and management strategies which are effective in the vocational rehabilitation of clients with persistent pain and disability
    • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the current legislative, cultural and ethical framework under which occupational health practice in New Zealand operates


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
    Back to top