Full Course Description

This course is designed to expose physical therapists to the examination and treatment of patients or clients with integumentary disorders. Learners will receive instruction on best practices to integrate and apply existing evidence into comprehensive patient-client management programs. This course is designed to challenge students to differentiate and prioritize clinical findings based upon level of acuity, patient preference, and knowledge of anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and diagnostic imaging.  Case scenarios will integrate principles of differential diagnosis and establishment of long-term management of patients with integumentary disorders.


Upon successful completion of the course, the participant will:

  • Articulate the structure and function of the major cellular components of the integumentary system.
  • Distinguish the primary events associated with each stage of normal healing.
  • Distinguish integumentary conditions most frequently encountered by the physical therapist.
  • Articulate factors associated with the development of commonly encountered wounds.
  • Compare interventions to minimize risk from commonly encountered wounds.
  • Propose a comprehensive physical therapy assessment for individuals with integumentary conditions including:
    • Document review
    • Patient history
    • Quantitative and qualitative tests and measures
  • Utilizing information from the physical therapy assessment (including valid and reliable tests and measures), decide on a diagnosis for which the patient will receive physical therapy or determine the need for referral to another medical professional.
  • Utilizing information from current, peer-reviewed literature, articulate the evidence underlying the diagnosis, prognosis, expected functional outcomes, and estimated length of intervention.
  • Propose a treatment plan that addresses modifiable risk factors, the wound microenvironment and physical therapy interventions including, but not limited to, biophysical technologies and exercise to facilitate healing and return to function.
  • Propose the use of selected patient interventions through evidence from the scientific literature.
  • Articulate the role of physical therapy in discharge planning.
  • Distinguish the components of the discharge plan that need to be considered for specific conditions.