Units of the PSP Certification Program™


Unit 1 – Principles of Primary Spine Care


Unit 2 – The Lumbar Spine


Unit 3 – The Cervical Spine


Unit 4 – Clinical Management and Final Proficiency Exam


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Unit 4 – Clinical Management and Final Proficiency Exam


Unit 4 – Online Educational Modules:

Topic 1: Psycho-Social Factors and Chronic Pain

  • Review of Pain Neuroscience
  • Educating Patients Regarding Pain Neuroscience
  • Principles of Graded Exposure in Chronic Pain Patients
  • Review of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Widespread Pain (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Motivational Interviewing
    • Background & Spirit
    • Skills & Strategies
    • Processes
    • Screening, Brief Intervention, & Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
  • Perceived injustice
  • The CBT/ACT Context in PSP Practice
  • Review of Key Psychological Factors (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • General Communication Skills
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychoactive Medications (Parts 1 and 2)
 

Topic 2: Clinical management

  • Moving beyond diagnosis and treatment to clinical decision making and clinical management: the true PSP
  • Team Based Care

 

Topic 3: Pharmacology

  • Part 1: Medications that are prescribed for spine pain
    • Anti-inflammatory medications: NSAIDs, steroids
    • Pain medications: acetaminophen, opioids
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Anti-convulsants
    • mood stabilizers
  • Part 2: Medications that can produce musculoskeletal side effects
  • Part 3: Identifying aberrant drug behavior

 

Topic 4: Principles of Evidence-Based Practice

  • Overview of EBP – what is it?
  • Overview of research designs
  • Basic science research
  • Observational studies
  • Diagnostic studies
  • Qualitative research
  • Randomized, controlled trials, meta-analyses and systematic reviews
  • Asking clinical questions and seeking the answer

 

Topic 5: Work-Related Topics

  • Stay at Work/ Return to Work process
  • Functional capacity evaluations
  • Work Conditioning/Work Hardening
  • Chronic Pain Management Programs/Functional Restoration

 

Topic 6: Cervical Manipulation and Stroke – an Understanding for the PSP

  • Review
    • Pathophysiology of vertebral artery dissection
    • Epidemiology of vertebral artery dissection
    • Most common initial symptoms
  • The evolution of the association between CMT and vertebral artery dissection
    • Case reports and case series
    • Surveys
    • Biomechanical studies
    • Case-control studies
  • Where are we now?
    • How to communicate vertebral artery dissection as a “risk”
    • How to detect subtle signs and symptoms (if they are present)
    • What to do if a patient has a stroke in your office

 

Topic 7: Special topics

  • Primary spine care in the context of public health Part 1
  • Primary spine care in the context of public health Part 2
  • Pre/Post Surgical Procedures
  • Scoliosis

 

Topic 8: Written documentation and communication

  • Documentation: Part 1
  • Documentation: Part 2

Unit 4 – Live 2-Day Workshop:

The following topics will be covered:

 

  • Introduction: what are you hoping to get out of this course? What are your greatest challenges with patients?
  • Communication skills
  • Practical application of the principles of:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    • Motivational Interviewing
  • Pain coping skills
  • Brief mindfulness exercises for the PSP
  • Role playing exercises
  • Clinical Vignettes
  • Videos of “good” and “bad” patient/ PSP interactions
 

Review of the principles of primary spine care and CRISP® Protocols

 

Clinical decision making

  • regarding treatment recommendations and what to do each visit
  • regarding end point of care
  • what if the patient does not respond to an adequate trial of treatment?
  • regarding invasive or intensive interventions

 

Relationship-Centered Care and the Therapeutic Alliance revisited

  • Affective reassurance
  • Cognitive Reassurance
  • Use of language

 

Thoracic Pain

 

Multiple Actual Cases of various clinical scenarios in Primary Spine Care - Interactive discussions


Final – Live Practical Competency Examination

The live practical exam will be provided as a part of the live workshops.

Details on the content of the exam will be discussed in each of your workshops leading up to the final. 

(please note that the content will be updated as needed)

 

Updated | 02.07.2019

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Questions regarding the program:
University of Pittsburgh
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Physical Therapy

Michael Timko, PT, MS, FAAOMPT
  PSP - Program Manager
  Bridgeside Point 1
  100 Technology Drive, Suite 210
  Pittsburgh, PA 15219
  (412)383-6578

  mtimko@pitt.edu

Questions regarding program registration:
University of Pittsburgh
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology

Karl A. Kemmerer
  PSP - Online Continuing
  Education Coordinator
  Bakery Square, Suite 401
  6425 Penn Avenue
  Pittsburgh, PA 15206
  (412)383-6705

  kak216@pitt.edu



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