Representing PTs, PTAs, and Students
of Physical Therapy in Alaska

2022 APTA Alaska Spring Conference

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MAY 7, 2022
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Providence Hospital, Anchorage, AK

 Invisible Patients With An Invisible Disease:

How Understanding the Broad Social Determinants Contributing to
Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain Can Help Clinicians Leverage the
Clinical Conversation and Optimize Outcomes



Alicia Emerson, PT, DPT, MS
Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists

Course Description

The epidemic of persistent musculoskeletal pain (PMP) is a public health concern. Epidemiological studies indicate PMP may occur disproportionately in vulnerable populations. Vulnerability can occur due to chronic physical or mental health conditions, and/or adverse social determinants. Inequitable management decisions outcomes persist in PMP, straining the healthcare system, and are influenced by several factors, including the clinical conversation. The clinical conversation is difficult because PMP is stigmatized diagnosis that often occurs in the context of patient-provider outgroup demographics.

This course will be of interest to clinicians who work with patients with PMP and/or diverse populations. Screening for the individual and population risk factors associated with PMP will be presented. Additionally, we will explore how clinicians’ biases, attitudes, and expectations can influence patients and their outcomes. Case-based learning will be used to hone communication skills needed to optimize the clinical conversation in PMP management.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be to:

1. Identify and select key screening forms that can be useful for informing clinical reasoning to identify risk factors for the development of persistent musculoskeletal pain.

2. Identify and select key screening forms that can be useful to identify comorbidities that influence the prognosis in persistent pain populations and influence interventions prescription.

3. Identify clinicians’ and patients’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that can influence the clinical conversation of persistent musculoskeletal pain.

4. Demonstrate optimal communication strategies to leverage outcomes in persistent musculoskeletal pain.


Start Date - End Date

May 07, 2022 - May 07, 2022

Start Time - End Time

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Event Location

Anchorage, AK


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