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The University of Southampton

PSIO3046 Managing Complex Cases (BSc)

Module Overview

Managing Complex Cases integrates and builds on the learning from previous years within the context of managing and treating complex clinical cases across the three main specialities of musculo-skeletal (MSk), neurological (Neuro) and respiratory (Resp) physiotherapy. The emphasis of this module is on developing your ability to critique the underpinning evidence base for management and treatment, and use this evidence to further support and justify your physiotherapist role as a member of a larger multi-disciplinary team caring for patients with complex, and or long term MSk, Neuro or Resp conditions. The clinical cases used in this module develop your ability to look at the complexity of presentation from multiple viewpoints. As far as possible, service users (patients) will contribute to your learning by discussing their lived experiences of their condition and self-management approaches. You will acquire skills to support self-management strategies for patients that could be observed across primary (GP practices), secondary (Hospital) and community-based care. This module will equip you with the skills in order to justify and deliver contemporary high quality healthcare and meet the challenging and complex needs of individuals and populations.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Identify and explain the application and modification of physiotherapy assessment and management techniques (of all three specialisms), and apply these concepts to more complex clinical problems.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically appraise the evidence in relation to physiotherapy management of a complex clinical case and develop an evidence based approach to the physiotherapy management.
  • Develop your critical thinking/clinical reasoning so that you can critique, synthesize and evaluate concepts to make informed judgements where the evidence base is lacking.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Justify the importance of patient involvement in planning treatment and take into consideration psychological, ethical and cultural information pertinent for the patient’s presentation.


- Comprehensive study of biological, physical, behavioural and clinical sciences and creative application of this knowledge base in an iterative manner to patient centred care. - Appropriate application of the clinical sciences across complex clinical cases and life spans and service delivery settings. - Consistent integration of health promotion and health education concepts. - Integration of innovative and evidence-based technologies into current healthcare. - Client autonomy and informed consent. Confidentiality & truth telling. - Integration of ethical, moral and legal issues. - Apply relevant UK legislation and policy in health and social care to aspects of therapeutic practice. - Duties of the therapist. Unenviable choices. - Risk assessment and risk management. - Scope of practice and professional self-regulation including appropriate judgement/action in the absence of evidence. - Reflective practice and CPD, patient partnerships, research and evidence based health care. - Advanced and specialised communication skills that promote collaborative working relationships with patients, carers and the inter-professional team. - Analysis of the culture of health and social care providers and assess the impact on service delivery.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module is taught jointly with the final year of the MSc physiotherapy cohort. The taught component consists of lectures, small group work and facilitated discussion. A journal club is used to facilitate the critique of literature and you will be asked to participate and work in small groups to discuss relevant articles selected by a member of staff, present the critique of your assigned literature and participate in discussions. As self-motivated learners you will also reflect on how you have contributed to effective group working. There will be related practical sessions consisting of practical workshops, clinical-skills sessions, expert patient demonstrations and facilitated discussions in which you will have the opportunity to discuss with patients how they have coped with the impact of their disability and how these changes have affected their lifestyle and psychological well-being. The expectation is that you will also undertake additional self-directed study prior to and following taught sessions for the shared learning to ensure you achieve the learning outcomes.

Guided independent study117.5
Practical classes and workshops15
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

There are no key texts. There are no specific key texts, but you are expected to use notes, subject-specific text books and other resources from previous modules and to access journal articles using search engines such as PubMed etc. as recommended by the library. Appropriate, relevant topic-specific references are given per session and you are encouraged to present recent publications within each session.



Critical review


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation & Viva  (25 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation & Viva 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no additional costs associated with this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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