Chronic Disease and Disability

Subject PHTY90102 (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:

Semester 2, 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: 60 hours of lectures, tutorial and independent group work
Total Time Commitment:

120 hrs

Students will need to allow time for self-directed learning (SDL), allowing a minimum of 1 hr pre/post reading for lectures and tutorials
Prerequisites: None
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:


Assoc Prof Linda Denehy


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 6428
F: +61 3 8344 4188
Subject Overview: This subject aims to integrate core strands of physiotherapy knowledge and practice with contemporary health needs of individuals, communities and populations. Aging populations, changing technologies and changing expectations of the health workforce mean that physiotherapists are required to be both responsive and adaptable in practice and research. This subject broadens students’ understanding of how physiotherapy knowledge and practice can apply to chronic illness and disease stages. Theories of illness and disability relevant to chronic conditions in specific populations, ages and gender will be studied. Critical examination and critique of models of health practice that arise from these underlying theories and their application to specific case studies will be addressed.

The curriculum for the DPT program has been designed around 8 Learning Outcomes under 3 elements.

Element 1: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

1. Integrate prior knowledge of chronic disease and disability from core streams of clinical practice (musculoskeletal, neurosciences and cardiorespiratory) to provide a framework for physiotherapeutic management of individuals with chronic conditions

2. Critique a range of theories and clinical approaches to the physiotherapeutic assessment and management of chronic disease in different health populations with different disease stages

3. Be open to critiques and theories that inform standard approaches to treatment of chronic disease in different health populations

4. Identify strategies to facilitate maximal participation of individuals with chronic disease and their carers to optimise function and quality of life

Element 2: Research and Evidence

5. Compile and synthesize appropriate outcome measures used to assess patient outcomes in the physiotherapy management of chronic diseases.

6. Categorise and critique different types of evidence in conditions across chronic disease and disability, including models of healthcare delivery.

Element 3: Healthcare contexts

7. Critique the political and governance structures that support individuals living with chronic disease and disability.

Use relevant legal and regulatory statutes and the human rights framework to debate the equity of access to health services of individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities in urban and rural Australia.

2000 word Reflective report using a case study (30%) due week 11

15 minute Group presentation (30%) due final week of semester

Group assignment (1500 word poster) (40%) due final week of semester

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

On completion of this subject, students will have had the opportunity to develop the skills associated with:

  • An understanding of factors affecting human relationship and the psychological, cultural and spiritual well-being of patients
  • An understanding of chronic illness and disability and its impact on the patient, their carers and communities
  • An understanding of the roles, responsibilities and expertise of all health professionals, and how they work in teams to delivery of healthcare
  • An understanding of the potential conflicts of interest that may confront physiotherapists and other health professionals
Related Course(s): Doctor of Physiotherapy

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