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MAFYS532 Physiotherapy for long-lasting musculoskeletal disorders

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

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. The course includes 5 weeks of clinical placement.

  • 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


Recommended previous knowledge

Having completed previous courses

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 expected to spend 40 hours per week on their studies, also during clinical placement period.

Compulsory learning activities

The following compulsory learning activities must be approved for the student to sit for the exam:

  1. Attendance is compulsory at the course
  2. Reflection note from practice 700 - 1000 words. Delivered in Canvas.
  3. Log from practice. Delivered in Canvas.
  4. Completed practice from rehabilitation in specialized or primary care, 5 weeks total


Written assignment
Individual, written paper: Case-report that is based on assessment or treatment of a patient in clinical practice. The case report should include background, aim, case description (including reflections about patient history, assessment, treatment and trajectory), results and discussion. Word limit: 3000 +/- 10%, excluding front page, abstract (both in english and norwegian), tables, figures and refrence list. The abstract should be maximum 275 words. Tables and figures should be numbered and with text that make them self-explanatory. The paper should have no more than a total of six tables and figures in total.

Time and place for exam, please see Eksamensdato og tidspunkt for eksamen - Høgskulen på Vestlandet

A-F, where A-E is passed and F is failed.When failing (F), the student can deliver a reworked exam for new evaluation.

Examination support material

All and any aids are allowed.

More about examination support material