Research and Evidence 2

Subject PHTY90101 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

January, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 26-Jan-2015 to 29-May-2015
Assessment Period End 12-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 19-Feb-2015
Census Date 27-Feb-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 24-Apr-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 60 hours of lectures, self-directed tutorials and journal clubs and online learning
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Students will need to allow time for self-directed learning (SDL)


(Prerequisite cannot be taken concurrently)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
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 Jennifer Mcginley


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 will build on research knowledge from Research and Evidence 1 and integrate to apply research concepts in the individual physiotherapy clinical practice streams. Specific content in this subject will focus on exploratory and experimental research design and methodology, incorporating statistical analysis and critical appraisal. Epidemiological constructs of prevalence, incidence and risk will be introduced in conjunction with applied clinical concepts such as number needed to treat and odds ratios. Methodology relating to survey design, development and analysis will be presented. Qualitative research methodology and interpretation will be introduced, included critical appraisal. On completion of this subject, students will be able to apply all five steps in practicing evidence-based physiotherapy: (1. Convert information needs into answerable questions, 2. Track down the best evidence with which to answer those questions, 3. Critically appraise research evidence, 4. Integrate evidence with clinical expertise & patient preferences and 5. Evaluate effectiveness of steps 1-4.

Learning Outcomes:

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

Element 1: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

  • Critically appraise exploratory and experimental research studies, in particular randomized controlled trials, for the validity of their conclusions to contemporary physiotherapy clinical practice
  • Interpret findings from statistical tests for analysing quantitative data obtained from exploratory & experimental study designs
  • Infer the likelihood of disease development from measures of relative risk and odds ratios reported in epidemiological research studies
  • Compare and contrast the methodology of qualitative research approaches to quantitative research

Element 2: Research and Evidence

  • Interpret the relevance of findings from observational research studies to physiotherapy practice, particularly in relation to diagnosis and prognosis
  • Interpret the relevance of findings from experimental research studies to physiotherapy practice, particularly in relation to physiotherapy treatment

Element 3: Healthcare in context

  • Integrate evidence from exploratory and experimental clinical research studies into physiotherapy practice
  • Critically analyse, using qualitative research methodologies, individual perspectives of health and illness


1500 word individual written critical appraisal assignment (40%) due mid-semester

10 minute individual oral presentation in journal club (20%) due mid-semester

2000 word group written assignment (40%) due end of semester

Prescribed Texts:

The same texts as prescribed in Research and Evidence 1 (year 1) and Research and Evidence 3 (year 3) will be used in this subject:

  • 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:

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

  • Critically appraising health-related qualitative and quantitative research studies
  • Appraising the evidence-base underpinning physiotherapy treatment strategies when selecting treatment techniques in clinical practice
  • Written and verbal communication skills, including group presentation skills
Related Course(s): Doctor of Physiotherapy

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