Research and Evidence 1

Subject PHTY90094 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 35 hours of lectures, tutorials, computer labs and computer based modules.
Total Time Commitment:

70 Hours


N/A Fixed Course


N/A Fixed Course

Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:



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:

This subject is the first in a series of three Research and Evidence subjects that will be delivered over the three year course duration. Specifically these subjects will focus on research as it applies to physiotherapy and the process of evidence based practice. Research and Evidence 1 will target the following foundations of research:

  1. Principles of evidence based practice;
  2. Concepts of measurement;
  3. Ethics of clinical human research;
  4. Descriptive statistics and introduction to epidemiology.

Research principles taught in this subject will be integrated and implemented into concurrent and subsequent first year subjects in the Doctor of Physiotherapy. For example, concepts of measurement taught in this subject will be the basis of the measurement tools studied in the concurrent subject Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 1.

Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcomes:

Element 1: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

  • Describe the steps involved in practicing evidence-based physiotherapy;
  • Analyse factors that may impact upon a measurement tool’s ability to accurately evaluate change with physiotherapy intervention and/or predict clinical outcome.
  • Critically appraise measurement research studies for the validity of their conclusions to contemporary physiotherapy clinical practice
  • Compute and interpret descriptive statistics for a quantitative data set.

Element 2: Evidence in Physiotherapy

  • Analyse clinimetric properties when choosing measurement tools in physiotherapy practice.
  • Identify and describe the significance of high quality ethical clinical research in contemporary physiotherapy practice.

Element 3: Health in Context

  • Explain how evidence-based physiotherapy practice is important for patients, the profession, policy makers and funders of physiotherapy services.
  • Describe how practice contexts (including access to research findings, cultural preferences and values, available resources and politics) influence the application of evidence based practice.
  • Group assignment: to prepare a Wiki or a Podcast summarising existing evidence regarding clinimetric properties and patient/context specific issues applicable to an allocated physiotherapy measurement tool. 1000 words due mid-semester (20%).
  • Critical appraisal of a measurement study: 1000 word written individual assignment due mid-semester (45%).
  • Group oral presentation: on methodology and results of a reliability study using an allocated physiotherapy measurement tool. 20 minutes at end of semester (35%).
Prescribed Texts:
  • Practice Evidence-Based Physiotherapy. (R Herbert, G Jamtvedt, J Mead and K Birger Hagen), London, Butterworth Heinemann, 2012.
  • Foundations of Clinical Research: Applications to Practice (Portney LG & Watkins MP), 3rd ed, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2009
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

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

  • an understanding of research methods and their applications;
  • an appreciation of the responsibility to maintain standards of physiotherapy practice at the highest level throughout a professional career;
  • the ability to apply effective time management and organisational skills;
  • the ability to access new knowledge from all sources, to analyse and interpret it in a critical manner, and to apply it appropriately to their provision of health care.
Related Course(s): Doctor of Physiotherapy

Download PDF version.