1.  Course type

This course is an AHTA elective course. An AHTA Elective course contains learning outcomes that meet at least the Australian Quality Framework (AQF) Level 8 standards. 

2.  Overview

This exciting new elective course aims to give participants an opportunity to learn how to help patients better manage chronic or persisting pain problems in the context of hand therapy practice. Using an online webinar format, and between webinar activities, the program provides participants with an opportunity to develop competence in the application of core Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) methods for managing patients with persisting pain.

3. Prerequisites 

Completed Fundamentals of Hand Therapy Course OR
Completed a Masters or postgraduate degree in Hand Therapy (PT/OT) OR
Be an Accredited Hand Therapist as awarded by the Australian Hand Therapy Association OR
Have a minimum of 2 years post-graduate experience in a hand therapy setting.

Participants will be asked to complete a pre-course questionnaire to assess knowledge of CBT principles. They will also be asked to complete a formal evaluation of the course on completion of the requirements. Competence in performing CBT strategies is also assessed as part of the training.

4.  Learning outcomes

At the completion of this course, therapists will be able to:

  • Identify the key biopsychosocial principles underpinning the assessment of chronic pain patients in a hand therapy context
  • Use appropriate questioning techniques when assessing chronic pain patients in a hand therapy context
  • Explain the multifaceted nature of pain problems to a patient in a hand therapy context
  • Engage patients in the case formulation process in a hand therapy context
  • Assist patients to determine Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely goals in a hand therapy context
  • Design and plan a treatment program based on the case formulation and goal setting
  • Plan and conduct a series of treatment sessions based on the initial treatment program plan
  • Plan for maintenance following a treatment program
  • Outline a comprehensive case presentation to other health professionals
  • Discuss the application and integration of CBT skills in hand therapy practice

5.  Assessment details

1.     Formative assessment, to be undertaken by all participants.

  • Between each session, participants are expected to practice the skills covered with their patients. These tasks are designed to give participants an opportunity to practice and reflect on the skills covered in each session.
  • Participants are expected to submit a brief summary of their skills practice (each session) to present to the group.

2.     Summative assessment

There are two components to the final course assessment. Those doing the course for CPD points should do the first two parts of the skills assessment to get the most out of the course (Part A, see below). Elective participants should also submit Part B, either option 1 or option 2 as outlined below. 

Part A: Skills assessment (to demonstrate competency)

  • Submission of a formal case presentation workbook documenting the application of CBT skills with a patient
  • Submission of a brief PowerPoint summary of this case to present to the group on the final session

Part B: CBT application in a hand therapy context

Option 1: Practical assessment

Submission of 4 video recordings demonstrating the application of the CBT skills in their practice, including:

  • 1 x video demonstrating the participant's skill in explaining chronic pain to a hand therapy patient,
  • 1 x video demonstrating the participant's skill explaining a case formulation to a hand therapy patient, and
  • 2 x videos demonstrating the participants skill in teaching a hand therapy patient a self-management technique (this technique could be introducing goal setting, pacing, applied relaxation, thought management, problem-solving, or planning for flare-ups)
  • Submission of a 500-word reflection on their application of the skills in practice

Option 2: Written assessment

Submission of a complex case review on the application of CBT in a hand therapy context. The case review must include the following components:

Part A: Case outline (500-750 words)

  • Brief case presentation/history
  • Problem formulation
  • Assessment tools
  • Treatment approach 

Part B: Case Discussion (1000 words)

  • Using the literature, discuss how you have applied the theory and concepts you have learnt about to effectively manage the case. 

Part C: Reflection on outcomes (250-500 words)

  • Document your reflections and insights about the use of CBT for hand therapy patients.

Make sure you have a good balance between describing and analsying your case study. Try not to fall into the trap of being too descriptive when writing about your case. Some ways to include analysis are:

  • Explaining and giving reasons
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Making suggestions and recommendations
  • Supporting your ideas with information from sources

Note: Each course will accommodate between 8-10 participants to allow time for homework presentation/feedback and to foster discussion about the content. The curriculum is subject to change from time to time. Guest presenters may at times deliver certain topics based on their expertise and availability.

6.  Statement of CPD hours

This is a certificate workshop, so participants are encouraged to undertake the assessments that will allow them to claim 50 CPD hours for attendance, and successful completion of assessment components. Participants not wishing to undertake assessment may claim 36 hours credit for attendance only. For those wishing to apply to become an Accredited Hand Therapist with the AHTA, this is an elective course and successful assessment and completion of all components is a requirement for your application.  

This course is an Entrustable Professional Activity, completion of this course can be seen to be an EPA for the use of CBT in clinical hand practice.   

7.  Course and booking enquiries

To book your place, please ensure you are signed in or create an account, then go to the the Course / event dates and bookings website page and click click Purchase Event. Discounts apply for Associates and Accredited Hand Therapists. The registration costs for the Pain Management Course are:

Non-Member $2000

Associate $1300

Accredited Hand Therapist $1200

To become a member of the Association please click here

Please read the Education Cancellation Policy prior to booking this course. Please ensure that you have an appropriate workspace to complete this course with a reliable internet connection.

The course will be delivered via the University Of Sydney, all details will be sent to participants prior to the event. All participants will need to sign a permission form for their details to be shared with the University of Sydney for the purposes of this course.

Participants will be provided with all course materials, workbook, headset for use during the webinars, ongoing assessment tools for use with patients, and a copy of the book 'Manage Your Pain' by Michael Nicholas et al.

8.  Teaching staff

The teaching staff for this course vary depending on availability and University of Sydney requirements.

9.  Course contact details

Contact enquire@ahta.com.au or the AHTA office on 08 9778 9070.

10.  Course schedule

The course consists of 7 webinar sessions (each of 90 minutes duration) conducted over a 2-3 month timeframe. In each session, participants explore and learn about specific strategies, which must then be applied between sessions. The breakdown of the sessions is as follows:

Session 1: Patient assessment & case formulation

Session 2: Explaining case formulation to the patient

Session 3: Identifying SMART goals & using motivational interviewing

Session 4: Employing self-management skills & developing a treatment plan

Session 5: Reinforcing treatment program & maintenance strategies - Part 1

Session 6: Reinforcing treatment program & maintenance strategies - Part 2

Session 7: Integration of CBT skills

11.  Previous participant feedback


12.  Intellectual property disclaimer

The Intellectual Property Rights for the Webinar Program and Materials are owned by the Pain Management Research Institute, The University of Sydney.


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