The Pelvic Floor:Function&Dysfunction

Subject 513-640 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On-campus lectures and tutorials, off-campus clinical placements

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours problem based learning, practical sessions, 20 hours of clinical practice.
Total Time Commitment: Students are expected to undertake a number of hours of self directed learning in this subject. Approximately 60 hours of self directed learning is suggested.
Prerequisites: For Postgraduate Certificate: 513-699 Physiotherapy Professional Portfolio
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Ms Helena Frawley
Subject Overview:

This subject covers anatomy, functional anatomy and neurophysiology of the pelvis and its contents, with particular emphasis on the pelvic floor muscles and fascia, micturition and the urinary tract. Types of incontinence and diagnostic procedures are discussed and physiotherapy assessment and management of different types of incontinence are studied theoretically and practically. Pathology of connective tissue and its relationship to prolapse, and surgical procedures in gynaecology are studied theoretically. The use of electrotherapy for diagnosis and treatment is included. An introduction to evidence based practice and computer database searching are provided.

Assessment: 3,500 word assignment (60%), practical assessment (40%). Students must obtain a pass in both the practical and theoretical components in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts: Bø, K., Berghmans, L.C.M., Van Kampen, M., Morkved, S. (eds). (2007). Evidence-Based Physiotherapy for the Pelvic Floor: Bridging Science and Clinical Practice. London: Churchill Livingstone
Recommended Texts:
  • Abrams P, Cardozo L, Khoury S and Wein A J (Eds) (2005): Incontinence: 3rd International Consultation on Incontinence, Monaco 2004 .(2005 ed.) Plymouth, UK: Health Publication Ltd.(2 nd edition available online: -> link to Documents)
  • Cardozo L and Staskin D (Eds) (2001): Textbook of Female Urology and Urogynaecology . London: Isis Medical Media Ltd.
  • Corcos J and Schick E (Eds) (2001): The urinary sphincter . New York: Marcel Dekker.
  • Mantle J, Haslam J and Barton S (2004): Physiotherapy in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. (2nd ed.) London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Sapsford R, Markwell S and Bullock-Saxton J (Eds) (1998): Women's Health: A Textbook for Physiotherapists . London: WB Saunders Company Ltd.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

  • Well developed problem solving skills
  • Improved capacities in seeking, evaluating and retrieving information
  • An appreciation of a team approach to learning
  • A basic understanding of critical evaluation of research literature

Specific Skills:

On completion of the subject, students are expected to be able to demonstrate:

  • A sound knowledge of the anatomy, applied anatomy and function of the pelvis and pelvic floor and urinary tract, including the bladder and its outlet.
  • The ability to identify the various forms of urinary incontinence seen in adult female patients
  • The ability to clinically assess and treat an adult female patient who presents with complex urinary incontinence symptoms, including the use of adjunctive therapy
  • The ability to identify the major features of muscle and exercise physiology that influence exercise programming in pelvic floor rehabilitation
  • Understanding of the role of a physiotherapist in a clinical continence service
  • The ability to understand the specific details of diagnostic procedures in the diagnosis of urinary incontinence, in particular, urodynamics
  • An advanced level of knowledge of the neurophysiology of electrical stimulation as an assessment and treatment of urinary incontinence.
  • Knowledge of the theoretical basis and practical application of behavioural modification and bladder training in the treatment of urge urinary incontinence
  • Having viewed continence diagnostic procedures and surgery, be able to integrate physiotherapy clinical skills with that of other continence team members, including surgeons
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Doctor of Clinical Physiotherapy (Coursework)
Master of Physiotherapy (Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy)
Master of Physiotherapy (General) CW
Master of Physiotherapy (Neurological Physiotherapy)
Master of Physiotherapy (Paediatric Physiotherapy)
Master of Physiotherapy (Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy)
Postgraduate Certificate in Physiotherapy (Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy)

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