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OTHY612 Enhancing Clinical Reasoning in Rehabilitation for Occupational Therapists AND HLSC630 Holistic Rehabilitation and Restoration 1

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Occupational therapists working in rehabilitation with older adults and individuals with neurological disorders require advanced knowledge of environmental interventions in order to optimise access and enhance capacity for occupational performance in the home, within the education/work setting and during leisure pursuits. OTHY602 offers post graduate students the opportunity to update and enhance theoretical knowledge, and explore evidence for optimal occupational therapy practice in environmental modifications. This unit aims to encourage students to further develop, critically appraise and apply enhanced knowledge and skills associated with occupational rehabilitation techniques in practice, with the purpose of increasing clients' safety, capacity to participate, and independence within the home, community, learning environments and workplace settings.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Integrate, interpret and critically discuss advanced principles of home, community, education and work-based assessments that underpin the provision of evidence based interventions aimed at increasing safety capacity to participate (GA4,GA5, GA8)

LO2 - Critically assess and analyse motor cognitive and perceptual issues, as well as other underlying impairments, observed in the home, education, workplace and community settings, associated with a range of clients to underpin goals that are collaboratively set and agreed on by all stakeholders. (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8)

LO3 - Critically assess, analyse and discuss advanced home modifications and or technologies, which may be suitable to address safety and functional issues in the home, education, work or community settings (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO4 - Demonstrate advanced ability to develop, implement and justify evidenced-based interventions designed to address client-centred goals (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8).

LO5 - Reflect on application of knowledge, skills and experiential learning in the client’s setting and analyse the implications from the assessment and interventions implemented for optimal participation in home, education, work and leisure contexts as well as for your professional growth as an occupational therapist. (GA3,4,5,8) 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


Topics will include:

Rehabilitation principles 

  • Principles of motor skill acquisition/ motor learning / repetition / providing feedback  
  • Intensity of practice: Strategies for enabling increased intensity of practice in rehabilitation settings 
  • Principles of psycho-social assessment and management. 
  • Evidence based practice models and advanced assessment skills to determine the effect of disability on home, education, leisure, community and work based activities (common topic with all disciplines) 
  • Review of formal and informal functional assessments and interventions used within occupational therapy practice for PADL, DADL, CADL and IADL assessments
  • Central role of client centred goal setting within home, work, education and leisure settings
  • Self-awareness and self-efficacy as a basis for goal setting for optimising participation within home, work, education, leisure and other community based activities  

Advanced Home Modifications

  • Evidence base interventions for maximising participation in the home through structural modifications 

o   Major modifications e.g. lifts and bathroom modifications; justification for completion; planning, and funding

o   Smart homes – technology for the future e.g. automatic doors, lighting, windows, curtains, etc.

  • Evidence based interventions for maximising participation in the home through 

o   Set up of safe environments suitable for mobility aids and power wheelchair / scooters technology)

o   Whole environments, robotics

Evidence based interventions for maximising participation in the home

  • Educating clients with disabilities – and their carers re utilising technology within the home 
  • Advanced clinical reasoning for provision of complex assistive technology application 

Occupational Rehabilitation

  • Evidence based principles guiding occupational rehabilitation/study/engagement in purposeful occupations.
  • Steps towards return to work/ study following neurological injury; prevocational assessments, education/work/ study activity analysis in relation to individual impairments and strengths, risk assessment 
  • Legislation; support services to aid return to work and study. Funding to enable participation in education and employment through modifications, positive changes to environment or work/study conditions e.g. technology
  • Prevocational work simulation, setting up and monitoring achievement of work tasks and assessments.
  • Voluntary work – as alternative to paid employment or stepping stone to practice work based strategies prior to return to work. Voluntary agencies and selecting  appropriate voluntary work placements
  • Assessing the workplace/educational facility; how to complete return to work/ study assessments, liaising with stakeholders and colleagues including issues around disclosure of information
  • Principles of workplace evaluation and feedback to assess return to work or study process.
  • Maintaining employment (paid or voluntary) or educational activities with deteriorating conditions/ chronic conditions.
  • Managing barriers to education, training and employment. Issues in the workplace/ educational setting e.g. communication, cognition, behaviour, fatigue, colleagues.

Increasing participation in Leisure/ Community activities 

  • Goal setting to address leisure and community activities
  • Activity analysis, risk management, useful technologies and strategies for adapting leisure and community activities to foster participation
  • Community resources; e.g. Council Access All Abilities, etc.
  • Purposeful activity e.g. volunteering

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered through multi-mode and online delivery for specific on and offshore cohorts. Both modes ai to facilitate learner centred activities and workplace learning. Learning and teaching strategies within this Graduate Diploma level unit are based on a blend of constructivism, social constructivism, and experiential learning. These strategies focus on active participation and developing a community of inquiry. Purposefully designed content and activities that are the same or similar for all participants regardless of the mode of delivery have been identified. This has led to the development of purposefully designed learning activities that are transferable and work well across both delivery mediums whilst maintaining the flexibility to create and deliver mode specific activities focusing on inquiry based learning principles aimed at encouraging critical thinking, application of knowledge and skills, evidence for practice, collaborative peer learning, and critical self-reflection. 

In addition students participate in individual and small group activities based on analysis of current practice, to assimilate application of enhanced knowledge and facilitate translation of learning into practice. Engagement in extended dialogue is encouraged to guide change to a more interprofessional, person-centred practice. Unit activities include, but are not limited to: guided readings, synchronous on-line tutorials, work-based activities with reflection, use of a reflective journal during experiential learning, skill development, and mentoring to enhance practice. To facilitate practical application of knowledge and skills, multi-mode delivery requires participation in a required mid unit intensive practical workshop. Where possible, workshop activities are designed as reusable learning objects able to be provided online or modified slightly as required for current Information and Communication Technologies for online delivery.  Learning and teaching strategies for online delivery to specific cohorts will be adapted to accommodate different time zones for example as required. Activities undertaken in both modes are aimed to facilitate acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills in collaborative and assessment and intervention planning strategies. Post workshop workplace activities are supported through a clinical visit and/or use of information and communication technologies.

Assessment strategy and rationale

OTHY602 assessments have been purposefully designed to replicate authentic clinical practice. Significantly, the unit’s assessments have also been designed from an “Assessment for Learning” approach in order to not only provide evidence for judgement of learning, but also to reinforce, facilitate and support learning and application of learning.  The assessment tools have been designed to provide for a broad range of tasks aligned to andragogic principles of adult learning, facilitating choice and self-direction for the post graduate student. The design enables timely judgement to ensure students have appropriate knowledge and skills prior to the workplace application segment of the unit.  In addition the range of assessment activities at the end of the unit encourage application of evidence to practice and embed clinical reasoning, problem solving and implementation of advanced knowledge and skills.  

The first assessment task provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate advanced and critical analysis of a functional activity or treatment program for selected case study p and apply optimal evidence based interventions. The focus of the final two assessment items, is to reflect on personal and collaborative practice, and communicate reflections, evidence based reasoning and decision making, to management and peers.  In the second assessment task students will demonstrate advanced and critical analysis of a functional activity or treatment program for selected client detailing clinical decision making relevant to the client in the setting.  Assessment task 3 enables students to demonstrate the application of advanced skills in the delivery on an evidence based intervention with a client, their clinical reasoning and clinical decision making. 

In addition to assessing enhanced clinical skills, a major focus of the final two assessment items, is the ability to reflect on personal and collaborative practice, and communicate reflections, evidence based reasoning and decision making, to management and peers.  These assessments incorporate the advanced level of professional knowledge and skills, enhanced critical analysis and professional presentation modes developed throughout the post graduate program. Scheduling of assessments will be equitable for both modes of delivery. Assessment tasks may be delivered and assessed locally with moderated according to University Policies and Procedures. All assessments will be submitted electronically.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assignment - Critical analysis of a case study 

Enables students to reflect on best practice and communicate reflections, evidence based reasoning and decision making.


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Educational seminar with reflective critique and resource development for peers 

Enables students to develop practice knowledge and skills, and communicate reflections, evidence based reasoning and decision making, to management and peers


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Practical Case Study Examination

Enables students to demonstrate advanced practice and communicate evidence based reflections, reasoning and decision making


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Adam, K. Peters, S. & Chipchase, L. (2013). Knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required by occupational therapist and physiotherapist beginning practitioners in work-related practice: a systematic review. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60, 76-84. 

Ainsworth, E & De Jonge, D (2011). An occupational therapist's guide to home modification practice. Thorofare, N.J.: SLACK. 615.8515 AIN

Aplin, T de Jonge D,  Gustafsson, L (2013) Understanding the dimensions of home that impact on home modification decision making  Australian Occupational Therapy Journal,.60(2), pp.101-109 

Cooke, D, Ames, M & Geffen, S (2016). Life without limbs: Technology to the rescue. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 40(4), 517-521.  

Evald, L. (2015). Prospective memory rehabilitation using smartphones in patients with TBI: what do participants report? Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 25, 283-297. 

Desiron , HAM, de Rijk, A, Van Hoof, E & Donceel,, P (2011). Occupational therapy and return to work: a systematic literature review. BMC Public Health, 11, 615 

Gramstad ,A, Storli ,SL & Hamran, T (2014). Older individuals’ experiences during the assistive technology device service delivery process. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 21, 305-312. 

Hammel, J, Magasi, S, Heinemann, A, Gray, DB, Stark, S, Kisala, P ... & Hahn, E A  (2015). Environmental barriers and supports to everyday participation: a qualitative insider perspective from people with disabilities. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 96(4), 578-588. 

Hunt, D, Zuberbier, O, Kozlowski, A, Berkowitz, J, Schultz, I, Milner, R, ....Turk, D (2002). Are components of a comprehensive medical assessment predictive of work disability after an episode of occupational low back trouble? Spine, 27(23), 2715-9.  

Mitchell, E, Veitch, C, & Passey, M (2014). Efficacy of leisure intervention groups in rehabilitation of people with an acquired brain injury. Disability & Rehabilitation 36(17), P.1474-1482, 36(17), 1474-1482. 

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