33.3 - Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders

Course Description

This course provides comprehensive information on psychologically informed practice as a rehabilitation approach for the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal pain and disability and the prevention of chronic pain or disability after musculoskeletal injury or surgery. The first monograph focuses on detailing models and conceptual frameworks that guide psychologically informed practice assessment and treatment strategies. The second monograph discusses the inclusion of a systematic approach to the assessment of psychological and social factors as part of the physical therapist evaluation of individuals with musculoskeletal pain and the importance of therapeutic alliance, compassion, empathy, and acceptance. The third monograph focuses on the use of patient-centered communication and motivational interviewing to help guide the plan of care for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders. Two key concepts are the ability to determine the patient’s readiness for change and the use of a more collaborative communication style between patient and therapist.

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Course Overview

Course Format: Online with an option to purchase the print version

Contact Hours: 15 contact hours

State Approval: AOPT courses are accepted in all states plus the District of Columbia, as allowed by the type of course requirements in state regulations. A small number of states require APTA to seek pre-approval of courses. The approval codes for these states can be found here. Always check with your State Licensing Board to confirm contact hours offered.

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Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders

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Online Only Online + Hard Copy
AOPT Member $105 $130
Non-AOPT Member $205 $230

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this monograph series, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe a psychologically informed practice approach for musculoskeletal rehabilitation, including evidence related to its use.
  2. Identify models and conceptual frameworks that guide assessment and treatment strategies in psychologically informed practice.
  3. Describe a process for implementing the use of unidimensional and multidimensional screening measures of psychosocial variables in clinical practice.
  4. Describe how assessment skills incorporating patient-centered communication and the therapeutic alliance can be integrated into goal setting and treatment for individuals with musculoskeletal pain.
  5. Compare and contrast motivational interviewing and shared decision making as patient-centered communication approaches.
  6. Recognize different stages of readiness for behavioral change and their relevance when implementing motivational interviewing strategies to elicit behavior change.

Topics and Authors

  • The Foundations of Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders
    Travis C. Gunderson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT; Terese L. Chmielewski, PT, PhD, SCS
  • The Assessment of Musculoskeletal Conditions Using a Psychologically Informed Physical Therapy Practice Approach
    Zachary R. Stearns, PT, DPT, OCS
  • The Management and Treatment of Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain Based on Psychologically Informed Practice Principles
    Keri Markut, PT, DPT, OCS; Giorgio Zeppieri Jr., PT, SCS, CSCS; Jason M. Beneciuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH, FAAOMPT