Credit points


Campus offering

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PHTY203 Physical Activity and Exercise in Physiotherapy , PHTY210 Movement Science for Physiotherapy

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

As a physiotherapist you need to be able formulate a problem list for a person with a neurological disorder and develop, implement, evaluate and progress an intervention program which is efficient, effective, culturally responsive, evidence-based and person-centred. In this unit you will build on the knowledge acquired, and clinical reasoning skills developed in year 2 units (specifically exercise, neuroscience and movement science). You will gain new knowledge including the impairments and activity limitations that people may have after stroke and you will develop skills in the management of these impairments and activity limitations. The principles of rehabilitation for people after stroke will be used as the model to guide the rehabilitation of all neurological conditions. The overall aim for the unit is to prepare students for professional practice in the area of neurological physiotherapy.

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 - Describe and discuss physiotherapy practice for the rehabilitation of people with stroke (GA5)

LO2 - Safely and effectively assess and, develop, implement, evaluate and progress an intervention program, for a person after stroke, which is efficient, effective, culturally responsive, evidence-based and person-centred (GA1; GA3; GA5; GA9)

LO3 - Demonstrate effective written communication with members of the multi-disciplinary team (GA5; GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

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


Topics will include: 

Principles of practice in neurological physiotherapy: 

Use of the ICF framework and person-centred practice 

Enriched environments in rehabilitation  

Strategies to enable people after stroke to be active participants in their rehabilitation 

Sourcing and applying evidence in designing training plans people after stroke 

Working within the multidisciplinary team in rehabilitation 


Presentation of Stroke: 

Use of the Bamford classification 

Lesions of non-dominant vs dominant cerebral hemisphere 


Clinical reasoning: application for a person after stroke 

Subjective and objective assessment  

Creating problem lists  

Designing short and long-term goals 

Predicting outcome  

Treatment planning and progression 

Outcome measures to evaluate change in impairments and activity  


Common impairments after stroke – characteristics, assessment procedures and application of National Stroke Foundation guidelines to training for: 

loss of strength 

loss of co-ordination 

loss of sensation 


visual field loss 




shoulder subluxation 

soft tissue damage to shoulder/arm 

cardiovascular de-conditioning 


Assessment and training of everyday activities following stroke: 

Identification of common kinematic deviations during the performance of everyday activities including sitting, standing, sit to stand, walking and reaching and manipulation 

Identification of possible primary and secondary impairments contributing to the kinematic deviations identified 

Training to address common kinematic deviations of everyday activities  

Effective communication, manual handling/manual guidance and environment set-up  

Strategies to increase intensity of practice  

Strategies to decrease or increase the difficulty of training and aid transfer of learning 

Application of the National Stroke Foundation guidelines to training of everyday activities  


Documentation of assessment and interventions 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning with a combination of face-to-face, online and other directed independent learning activities.   


The theoretical knowledge underpinning assessment and intervention will be delivered via lectures and online modules. Tutorial and practical classes provide students with the opportunity to develop their clinical reasoning skills, through the use of case studies and, communication, assessment and treatment skills through simulation learning activities.   


Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks align with the presentation of the content in this unit of study and students should learn while, as well from, undertaking these tasks.  This unit takes an authentic assessment approach allowing students to demonstrate their learning and competency for clinically relevant scenarios.   


Assessment tasks 1 and 3 (practical examinations) require students to assimilate and apply theoretical knowledge, and perform clinical practice skills, in order to demonstrate their emerging professional competence in the areas of assessment and treatment of people with neurological conditions.  Assessment task 2 (written examination) requires students to demonstrate acquired theoretical knowledge and assimilate and apply this knowledge to clinically relevant case scenarios.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Mid-semester practical examination: 

Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to undertake appropriate assessment and treatment techniques on a peer for conditions covered in the first half of the semester (neurological impairments and transfers). 



GA1; GA5; GA9

End semester written examination: 

Requires students to demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge and understanding of physiotherapy practice for the rehabilitation of people with stroke. Students will be required to articulate the rationale for assessment and intervention choices for clinically relevant case scenarios. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA9 

End-semester practical examination: 

Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to undertake appropriate assessment and treatment techniques (stroke case scenarios and demonstration on a peer. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5 

Representative texts and references

Bolte-Taylor, J. (2006). My stroke of insight: A brain scientist's personal journey. New York: Penguin Group. 

Blumenfeld, H. (2010). Neuroanatomy through clinical cases. Sunderland MA: Sinauer Associates Inc.  

Carr, J., & Shepherd, R. (2003). Stroke rehabilitation: Guidelines for exercise and training to optimize motor skill. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann. 

Carr, J., & Shepherd, R. (2010). Neurological rehabilitation: Optimising motor performance (2nd ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.  

Edwards, S. (2002). Neurological physiotherapy: A problem solving approach. London: Churchill Livingstone.  

Jones, K.J. (2011). Neurological assessment: a clinician’s guide. London: Churchill Livingstone. 

Lennon, S. & Stokes, M (2009). Pocketbook of neurological Physiotherapy. London: Churchill Livingstone. 

Shumway-Cook, A., & Woollacott, M. (2011). Motor control: Translating research into clinical practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. 

Stokes, M., & Stack, E. (2011). Physical management for neurological conditions (3rd ed.). London: Churchill Livingstone.  

Umphred, D. (Ed.) (2007). Neurological rehabilitation (5th ed.). St Louis: C.V. Mosby. 

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