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In this 2.5 hour webinar a bio-psycho-social model for the assessment and management of chronic low back pain disorders will be presented. Within this model, a management approach called ‘cognitive functional therapy’ for pain disorders will be outlined. This approach represents an integrated cognitive, movement, lifestyle, and behavioral approach to managing these complex disorders.

This seminar draws together current knowledge from Peter O’Sullivan’s ongoing clinical work and collaborative groundbreaking research around the world (Australia, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Ireland) investigating the management of persistent pain disorders. The workshop is dynamic, interactive, and practical. It includes patient demonstrations, clinical reasoning and equips physiotherapists to develop skills in communication, diagnostics as well as the design of CFT interventions for specific disorders.


Speaker: Kjartan Vibe Fersum

Kjartan Vibe Fersum is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a researcher. He is currently combining work in a private clinic in Bergen, Norway 3 days a week, in addition to working 50% as an associate professor at the University of Bergen.

He was the lead investigator of the first randomized controlled trial on CFT to test the efficacy of this intervention compared to manual therapy and exercises for long-lasting low back pain, published in The European Journal of Pain in 2013. He is also part of an international collaboration group behind the pain-ed website (www.pain-ed.com) that aims to translate the latest research regarding cognitive functional therapy, informing both the public and other health care professionals.

His research interest lies in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal pain disorders and the title of his Ph.D. thesis was “Classification and targeted treatment of patients with Non-Specific Chronic Low Back Pain” where Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT) was the core work of the thesis.

He is currently one of the principal investigators for another randomized controlled trial (FaKTa project) to test CFT compared to neuroscience education and exercise among patients with long-lasting back pain in elderly care (nursing homes and home care).


  • Overview of the back pain diagnosis, the evidence and management dilemma
  • Potential multidimensional underlying mechanisms to pain
  • Overview of the clinical reasoning framework of low back pain disorders
  • Develop the communication skills acquired to deal with complex pain problems


Webinar Preparation:

Please read the following article in order to prepare for the webinar:

O’Sullivan PB, Caneiro JP, O’Keeffe M, Smith A, Dankaerts W, Fersum K, O’Sullivan K. Cognitive functional therapy: an integrated behavioral approach for the targeted management of disabling low back pain. Physical therapy. 2018 May 1;98(5):408-23.

This article will be discussed further during the webinar!

Course Reviews


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  1. Excellent insight


    Brought great clarity to a confusing topic

  2. Great Webinar!


    We were really looking forward to have Kjartan in our webinar line-up. His talk was an excellent introduction to CFT! We will gladly take him up on his offer to do another talk in the future.

  3. Great webinar


    Really helpful, great forum, thanks


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