Research, Evidence and Ethics in Health

Subject PHTY90075 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Semester 1, 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

Campus based lectures, tutorials and seminars

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 28 hours in lectures and tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

80 hours of self-directed learning

108 hours in total





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:



Prof Linda Denehy



Melbourne School of Health Sciences

The University of Melbourne

Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry St

Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA

T: +61 3 8344 4171

F: +61 3 8344 4188



Subject Overview:

Research, evidence and ethics in health practice forms a key component of all research and postgraduate study. This subject will provide students with an opportunity to extend their understanding of evidence based practice, research methodology and critical analysis of published research. It will further develop skills in academic writing and introduce students to the role of ethics in academic activities of writing and research and more generally the role of ethics clinical practice.

Topics will include:

  • Principles of evidence based practice;
  • Techniques for critical evaluation of all aspects of published research relevant to the physiotherapy profession
  • Concepts of measurement;
  • Descriptive statistics and introduction to epidemiology.
  • Critically appraise systematic reviews and clinical guidelines for the validity of their conclusions to contemporary physiotherapy clinical practice.
  • Distinguishing structural features of and preparation necessary for essays, assignments, case studies, grant applications and research papers
  • Key features of academic writing such as common formats, conventions and purposes
  • Processes of academic writing
  • Literature searching and retrieving
  • Referencing styles and conventions
  • Ethics in research and clinical practice
Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will have had the opportunity to:

  • Understand the process involved in practicing evidence-based physiotherapy
  • Analyze clinometric properties when choosing measurement tools in physiotherapy practice
  • Critically appraise experimental research studies and systematic reviews for the validity of their conclusions to contemporary physiotherapy clinical practice
  • Synthesize evidence from experimental clinical research studies into physiotherapy practice
  • Learn how to effectively search computerized medical literature databases
  • Recognize the key features and components of academic writing
  • Critique different styles of academic writing and distinguish between purposes, structure and characteristics
  • Further develop skills in writing using established academic styles
  • Identify the ethical dimensions of conducting clinical human research
  • Examine and critique ethical issues relevant to clinical physiotherapy practice
  • Critical appraisal of a research paper (1,400 words) (40%) due mid semester
  • Mid Semester Quiz x 2 (20%) due week 4 and week 7
  • Clinical ethics narrative and literature essay (2,500 words) (40%) due end of semester
Prescribed Texts:
  • Herbert, R., Jamtvedt, G., Mead, J., & Hagen, K B. (2005). Practical evidence-based physiotherapy. New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Guillemin, M. and L. Gillam (2006). Telling Moments: Everyday Ethics in Health care. Melbourne, IP Communications
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Students who successfully complete this subject will have had the opportunity to:

  • Develop skills of evidence-based practice including identification and critical appraisal of systematic reviews and high quality randomised controlled trials
  • Develop an appreciation of the importance of good written and verbal communication skills to articulate knowledge in professional writing and clinical practice
  • Have a greater awareness of ethics as it applies to physiotherapy practice
Related Course(s): Master of Physiotherapy
Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)

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