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MAFYS532 Physiotherapy for long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

This is an advanced course in evidence-based physiotherapy for patients with subacute and long-lasting musculoskeletal, disorders, including rheumatic and orthopaedic disorders. Professional practice, in collaboration with patients, their relatives, caregivers and other health professionals, is emphasized for providing high quality services to patients with long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders.

  • Pathology of subacute and long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders
  • Epidemiology of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Pain
  • Physiotherapeutic assessment and treatment of patients with subacute and long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Laboratory tests
  • Treatment and management of patients with subacute and long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders
  • Multidisciplinary work and rehabilitation
  • Motivational and cognitive theories for management of patients with subacute and long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders

Learning Outcome

A candidate who has completed his or her qualification should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student….

  • has advanced knowledge about long-lasting musculoskeletal, rheumatic and orthopaedic disorders, in a life course perspective, including knowledge about impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions.
  • has advanced knowledge about theories regarding self-efficacy and health-promoting behaviour
  • has advanced knowledge about definitions and mechanisms of transition to long-lasting pain
  • can use knowledge about interpretation of imaging, biomarkers and laboratory tests, and can apply these in clinical contexts


The student…

  • can conduct an evidence-based and thorough assessment of patients, in a perspective of body structures and functioning, activity and participation
  • can use motivational strategies and facilitate self-efficacy in patients
  • can plan, deliver and evaluate evidence-based treatments for patients with long lasting musculoskeletal, rheumatic and orthopaedic disorders
  • can use clinical reasoning to make informed decisions about assessment and treatment of patients
  • can engage with patients, relatives and caregivers to provide a comprehensive and patient centred treatment plan
  • can analyse and critically reflect on own role as a physiotherapy practitioner in a multidisciplinary team
  • can contribute to research and development in physiotherapy

General competence:

The student….

  • can apply advanced knowledge and skills to manage complex patient cases, and reflect critically upon the use of diagnoses
  • can apply and implement relevant and up-to-date evidence in clinical practice
  • can analyse relevant academic, professional and ethical issues in research with relevance for patients with long lasting musculoskeletal disorders
  • can communicate about academic issues within the field of physiotherapy for patients with long lasting musculoskeletal disorders, both with specialists and the general public

Entry requirements


Teaching methods

Teaching is a mix of lectures and student active learning activities such as skills training, group work and seminars. In addition time is spent on self-study and clinical placement. Clinical placement is a five week supervised placement period. Students are excected to spend 40 hours per week on their studies, also during clinical placement period.

Compulsory learning activities

80% attendance is compulsory at student active learning activities.


The assessment consists of two parts and both must be passed to pass the course

Part 1: Clinical placement assessment

The clinical placement is assessed to pass/not passed. The assessment is based on the candidate’s performance in clinical practice, which includes whether learning outcomes and the requirement of 10% or less absence is achieved. The assessment is based on every aspect of the clinical placement. A written assignement, a 700-1000 words long text, with reflections about the clinical practice placement, is included in the assessement.

Clinical placement supervisors make recommendations about whether the candidate should pass, and the final decision is made by the contact teacher at HVL.

If there is doubt about whether the candidate will achieve her/his learning outcomes and pass clinical practice placement before midway through the placement, the candidate will receive a notification about this, and information about which efforts from the candidate that will be required to pass.

Part 2: Written assignment

Literature study related to a clinical issues, 2000 words +/- 10%.

The exam is graded as passed or not passed.

Examination support material


More about examination support material