Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 1

Subject PHTY90095 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

February, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 75 hours lectures, tutorials and practical classes across a 16 week semester.
Total Time Commitment: 150 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None.


Dr Marilyn Webster


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4726
F: +61 3 8344 4188
Subject Overview: Students will have the opportunity to learn the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to becoming a physiotherapist. The focus of the subject will be on preparing students to work with patients in a variety of contexts including as first contact practitioners and as practitioners working within health care teams. The subject will emphasize topics such as professional identity formation, ethical decision making, clinical reasoning, collaborative practice and effective communication. The development of professional knowledge and skills that underpin assessment, diagnosis and education in physiotherapy practice will be included. Students will focus on developing skills of physical assessment such as observation, palpation and analysis of movement and function. Particular attention will be given to the analysis of normal movement and function as a basis for identifying variations from normal. Students will build on their understanding of the World Health Organization, (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, (ICF) model and will explicitly link this model of classification to physiotherapy assessment using patient profiles. Students will be introduced to a variety of outcome measures commonly used in physiotherapy practice.

Learning Outcomes:

Element 1: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

  • Outline the theoretical principles that underpin assessment procedures used in physiotherapy to identify functional limitations and impairments.
  • Analyse human movement and apply knowledge of kinesiology and biomechanics of movement to interpret normal joint and muscle function and to recognise variations from normal.
  • Include knowledge of anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pain sciences and exercise physiology in the appropriate selection of assessment tools for selected patient cases.
  • Interpret and evaluate the use of measurement and measurement tools in the practice of physiotherapy.

Element 2: Evidence in Physiotherapy

  • Analyse the purpose of common physiotherapy measurement tools with respect to their clinimetric properties.
  • Critically examine the principles of evidence-based practice as they apply to common physiotherapy treatment strategies.

Element 3: Health in Context

  • Demonstrate skills in patient centred communication that acknowledges the social, economic and cultural factors which influence both physiotherapists and patients.
  • Identify the ethical and legal standards of physiotherapy practice and the mechanisms of accountability for patient and therapist safety within the profession.
  • Online quiz: with short answer questions (30 minutes) mid-semester (15%).
  • Critical perspectives in physiotherapy Portfolio: 1000 words due approximately week 14 (15%).
  • Theory written exam paper: 2 hour exam at the end of semester (35%).
  • OSCE: exam on practical skills, 20 minutes at the end of semester (35%)..
Prescribed Texts: None.
Recommended Texts: None.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

By the completion of this subject, students will have had the opportunity to develop the following generic skills:

  • The ability to apply clinical reasoning and clinical decision making skills in practical situations;
  • An appreciation of the importance of, and development of good written and verbal communication skills;
  • Awareness of how their clinical decisions affect themselves, their patients, their colleagues and society
Related Course(s): Doctor of Physiotherapy

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