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International consultation begins on competency framework for physiotherapy pain management

6 May 2014 - 3:52pm

The Physiotherapy Pain Association (PPA) has launched an international consultation to set out the scope for physiotherapists, from newly qualified to expert, to manage patients with pain.


Sarah Wilson, chair of the framework development group

The framework of competences will apply to all physios involved in pain management and will help higher education institutions to decide what level of knowledge is needed for newly qualified graduates.

Current clinical practice of physiotherapists working with people in pain frequently goes beyond that which was traditionally felt to be a physiotherapist role, it states, making training essential. At a senior level, pain management might require physiotherapists to request investigations, inject, prescribe and conduct complex assessments including questions regarding suicidal ideation and intent, it states.

A draft of the framework was presented at the British Pain Society’s annual scientific meeting in Manchester last week.

CSP professional adviser Eve Jenner said: ‘The framework is designed for physiotherapists working in pain management, but also for physios who come across pain in their everyday clinical caseload. It’s relevant to clinicians throughout the course of their working lives, from newly-qualified graduates to expert staff.’

The draft follows a consultation of UK-based physiotherapists in 2013.

Sarah Wilson, chair of the framework’s development group, encouraged wider feedback: ‘Honest feedback on the project is vital for us to be able to create a strong and useful document,’ she said.

She added that the framework aims to describe the underlying values, behaviours, knowledge and skills needed by physiotherapists who work with people in pain.

The consultation closes on 30 June and the PPA aims to implement the competency framework in October 2014.

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