Masterclass in Psychologically-Informed Practice: Early intervention for injury-related pain

This one-day masterclass is a unique opportunity for health professionals to enhance and develop skills in psychologically informed practice when treating musculoskeletal (MSK) pain.

Thursday 14 February 2019
Harbourview Terrace, Taronga Centre,
Taronga Zoo, Mosman, Sydney

The Masterclass in Psychologically-Informed Practice: Early Intervention for Injury-Related Pain is a rare opportunity to hear from leading and internationally recognised experts in the field of early intervention for musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. It is ideal for clinicians with a background in treating MSK pain, researchers, and compensation scheme regulators.

Key Features

Man in pain.
  • Psychologically-informed clinical practice has been increasingly recognised in the last 5-10 years as the optimal way to provide early management for acute musculoskeletal injuries and associated pain.
  • The clinical implications of this are wide-reaching, particularly understanding how to make our current therapies more effective by enhancing the latest evidence of ‘psychological-informed practice’ to early intervention.
  • This is masterclass presents the opportunity to learn from internationally-recognised experts in the field of early intervention for musculoskeletal pain about how you can implement this knowledge into your practice and better help your patients.
  • The day will also represent an opportunity to share the knowledge and skills of this rapidly developing approach between clinicians of all relevant disciplines along with compensation scheme agents, administrators, and regulators, and consequently, to facilitate research and implementation agendas.

Expert Presenters

We are privileged to have our masterclass feature three internationally-recognised experts.

Prof. Steve Linton.

Professor Steven J. Linton
Centre of Health & Medical Psychology, Örebro University, Sweden

Steven is Professor of Clinical Psychology at Örebro University in Sweden and Director of the Center for Health and Medical Psychology (CHAMP). His current research interests revolve around pain, stress and insomnia, the effectiveness of early psychological interventions and the role of psychological factors in the development and treatment of health problems such as pain or insomnia. He pioneered an early identification system based on psychosocial factors for patients with back pain. His work has also addressed treating the patients identified to prevent the pain problem from becoming chronic. Most recently his work has focused on matching early treatments to subgroups of patients based on each patient's needs. He has also undertaken significant work on rehabilitation of patients suffering persistent pain.

Prof. Michael Nicholas.

Professor Michael Nicholas
Director, Pain Education and Pain Management Programs, Pain Management Research Institute, The University of Sydney; IASP Council Secretary, International Association for the Study of Pain

Michael is the Director of Pain Education at the Pain Management Research Institute, which is part of the Faculty of Medicine and Health at The University of Sydney, and is based at the Royal North Shore Hospital. Michael maintains an active clinical role at the hospital where he directs several pain management programs. He has an international reputation in this field with over 180 publications in scientific journals and books on psychological aspects of pain and pain management. His current research interests include ways of enhancing the self-management of persisting pain, and early psychosocial interventions to prevent disabling chronic pain in injured workers.

Prof. Peter O'Sullivan. Professor Peter O'Sullivan
Chair in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Curtin University, WA

Peter is Professor of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University and a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2005). He is internationally recognised as a leading clinician, researcher and educator in Musculoskeletal pain disorders. He has published more than 220 research papers, written numerous book chapters and has been keynote speaker at over 90 national and international conferences. Peter also consults at Body Logic Physiotherapy where he reviews disabling musculoskeletal pain disorders.

Peter engages in regular fear exposure activities (mountain biking, climbing, skiing) that often result in personal injury, providing him with personal insights into the relationship between pain and movement.

Funding Partners

We are grateful for the support of the following funding partners:

NSW Government Waratah logo.

Funded by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the Authority.

Pfizer Australia Cares logo.
Proudly supported by Pfizer Australia.


Soft tissue (musculoskeletal) injuries are the most common work-related injuries. In Australia, most cases (about 93%) return to work (RTW) without delay, but durable RTW is closer to 80% of cases (Safe Work Australia, 2018).

However, the longer injured workers are away from work, the greater their risk of never returning to work and the greater the risks to their longer term health and financial security, as well as the costs to the community (Johnson, Fry, 2002; Schofield et al., 2011). Prospective studies indicate that psychological and social/environmental factors are strong predictors of delayed recovery and disability associated with chronic pain (Campbell et al., 2013; Chou and Shekelle, 2010; Mallen et al., 2007). As many of these psychosocial risk factors (e.g. anxiety, depression, catastrophizing, poor workplace support etc.) are modifiable, if these risk factors are targeting as part of early interventions, long-term disability and delayed RTW can be prevented (Keefe et al., 2018; Nicholas et al., 2011).

(References cited are listed below)

Masterclass Sessions

Sessions will be focused on the early identification of psychological and social risk factors for delayed recovery as well as the necessary skills for helping patients in dealing with these in the primary care context. Participants will also learn how to assess when a referral to a psychologist would be appropriate.

Who should attend?

This unique meeting would be of strong interest to clinicians working on the front line in primary care (physicians, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, osteopaths, nurses and other health professionals) and to compensation scheme agents, administrators and regulators. It will be of particular importance for those health professionals who deal with acute injuries following a work injury, or motor vehicle accident.

CPD Points

The day is comprised of 6.5 hours of professional development. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for these hours at the end of the event.


Date: Thursday 14 February 2019


  • Please aim to arrive by 8:30am to sign in. Presentations will commence at 9am.
  • Post-workshop drinks and canapés are scheduled to run from 5-6pm.


The registration fee includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and social drinks and canapés. Prices are GST inclusive and are in Australian Dollars (AUD).

Early Bird Registration (until 20 Dec 2018) $275.00
Full Registration (after 20 Dec 2018) $350.00

Note: If you have already paid the full rate registration fee to attend Week 2 of the 2019 Pain Refresh Pain Management Multidisciplinary Workshop, you may register for this Masterclass for an additional amount. This additional amount is $50 if you register by the early-bird date, or $120 after the early-bird date. Please email for more information.


The masterclass will be held at the Harbourview Terrace - Taronga Centre, Taronga Zoo. This venue has beautiful panorama views of the Zoo grounds and Sydney Harbour and is easily accessible from the Sydney CBD.

Harbourview Terrace
Taronga Centre, Taronga Zoo
Bradleys Head Road
Mosman NSW 2088

Getting Here

Public Transport

Ferry: Taronga Zoo Sydney is 12 minutes from Circular Quay by ferry. Sydney Ferries services depart from Circular Quay every 30 minutes.

Train: You can travel by train to Circular Quay train station (part of the City Circle) and then board the ferry to Taronga Zoo that departs from Circular Quay. Trains coming from the domestic and international airports are on the same line as the Circular Quay train station.

Bus: The M30 Metro Bus travels to Taronga Zoo Sydney every 10-15 minutes from Central, Town Hall and Wynyard train stations.

Public transport in Sydney uses the OPAL card system. You can still purchase single fare tickets at ticket vending machines. More information is available here:

TripView Lite is a free app for iPhone and Android which provides easy access to Sydney's public transport timetable:

More information about planning your trip by public transport is available here:


Visitor parking is available at Taronga Zoo and the entry in is from Bradleys Head Road, Mosman. The all-day parking rate is currently advertised here:

How to Register

  • The Masterclass in Early Intervention is now fully booked out. There are no further places available.
  • If you would like to be added to our events mailing list to be notified of future upcoming educational events, .

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations before 5pm Monday 14 January 2019 receive a refund of 85% of the registration fee (i.e. less 15% administrative fee). There will be no refunds after this date, however a substitute attendee may be accepted if notice is provided in writing.

  • Chou, R., Shekelle, P. (2010). Will this patient develop persistent disabling low back pain? JAMA, 303(13):1295-302.
  • Keefe, F.J., Main, C.J. and George, S.Z. (2018). Advancing Psychologically Informed Practice for Patients With Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain: Promise, Pitfalls, and Solutions. Physical Therapy, 98(5):398-407.
  • Johnson, D. and Fry, T. (2002). Factors Affecting Return to Work after Injury: A study for the Victorian WorkCover Authority. Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 28/02, The University of Melbourne.
  • Mallen, C.D., Peat, G., Thomas, E., Dunn, K.M., Croft, P.R. (2007). Prognostic factors for musculoskeletal pain in primary care: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice. 57(541):655-61.
  • Nicholas, M.K., and George, S.Z. (2011). Psychologically Informed Interventions for Low Back Pain: An Update for Physical Therapists. Physical Therapy, 91(5):765-76.
  • Schofield, D.J., Shrestha, R.N., Percival, R., Passey, M.E., Kelly, S.J. and Callander, E.J. (2011). Economic impacts of illness in older workers: quantifying the impact of illness on income, tax revenue and government spending, BMC Public Health, 11:418.