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Postgraduate course

Musculoskeletal disorders in primary health care: individual and societal challenges. Acute, subacute and intermittent

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeHELSAM331
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Level of Study




Teaching semester


Objectives and Content


The aim of the course is that the student acquires thorough knowledge and understanding of acute, subacute and intermittent musculoskeletal disorders. Current management is outlined through scientific, professional and community perspectives. The course will enhance understanding of pathological, individual and societal interacting factors of importance when addressing individuals with movement impairments and participation restrictions in musculoskeletal conditions in primary care.


The current scientific platform for musculoskeletal methods of assessment and treatment will be addressed. The scientific literature of musculoskeletal disorders will be critically analyzed in an evidence-based perspective and related to other common treatments. The competence and boundaries associated with management of musculoskeletal disorders in primary care will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the student shall have the following learning outcomes defined in knowledge, skills and general competence:


After completing the course, the student has:

  • specialized knowledge about common acute, subacute and intermittent musculoskeletal disorders; presentation, etiology and their management
  • thorough knowledge about the evidence-based model for evaluating quality of the scientific literature regarding examinations and treatments used in musculoskeletal management
  • basic knowledge about the evidence-based model¿s inclusion of user-involvement in treatment
  • basic knowledge about diagnose-specific principles of exercise and factors affecting compliance in common acute, subacute and intermittent musculoskeletal disorders
  • basic knowledge about the peripheral and central pathophysiology of pain and possible avenues for treatment by pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions
  • basic knowledge about how musculoskeletal treatment guidelines are developed in the context of balancing between scientific, professional and financial perspectives



After completing the course, the student can:

  • use their knowledge in new professional contexts
  • analyze scientific studies examining the effect of interventions in common musculoskeletal disorders
  • critically review the sources of information on musculoskeletal treatment effects, and how they may be affected by confounding factors like professional preferences and financial conflicts of interest
  • understand and handle terms of health and illness related to musculoskeletal conditions, and cultural aspects related to bodily habits and habits in work

General competence

After completing the course, the student can:

  • assess the scientific evidence behind treatments for musculoskeletal acute, subacute and intermittent disorders
  • evaluate and discuss relevance of approaches and treatments in areas of musculoskeletal disorders
  • identify gaps in the scientific literature where more knowledge is needed

Required Previous Knowledge

The course is open to students who have completed a health-related bachelor education, or have similar qualifications, such as enrollment in a health-related master program (fx. Medicine).

Access to the Course

Students in Masterprogram in health and society

International students with relevant educational background

Teaching and learning methods

Student active forms of teaching will be used, such as:

  • Lectures including student-active elements
  • Seminars with oral presentations and panel discussions
  • Group-work
  • Training of practical skills

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Compulsory attendance at the seminars, in addition to participation in preparation and presentation of group assignments, and in practical training

Forms of Assessment

Individual written home exam

Grading Scale

Grading scale A-F

Assessment Semester


Reading List

Reading list at Mitt UiB

Course Evaluation

Evaluation with report in the database for study quality every 4th year.

Programme Committee

Program committee for the health sciences is responsible for content, quality, and structure of Masterprogram in health and society.

Course Coordinator

Ingvill Fjell Naterstad

Course Administrator

Faculty of Medicine/Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care is administratively responsible for the course.


Contact Information

Contact address:


Exam information