Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


For Bachelor of Physiotherapy Students:

PHTY300 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND PHTY301 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice 3 AND PHTY302 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 1 AND PHTY303 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 2 AD PHTY304 Paediatric Physiotherapy Practice AND PHTY306 Integrated Physiotherapy Practice in Selected Populations AND HLSC220 Health Care Ethics and UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World

For Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) Students:

PHTY300 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND PHTY301 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice 3 AND PHTY302 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 1 AND PHTY303 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND PHTY304 Paediatric Physiotherapy Practice ANDPHTY306 Integrated Physiotherapy Practice in Selected Populations AND (PHTY415 Preparation for Physiotherapy Honours AND PHTY416 Research Methods for Physiotherapy Honours ) OR (ALHT411 Honours Literature Review for Allied Health AND ALHT412 Honours Research Methods for Allied Health ).

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

To successfully transition from on-campus learning to the clinical practice year students are required to integrate and apply all previously acquired physiotherapy knowledge and skills to comprehensively meet the clinical needs of people in all contexts. In this unit, students will investigate different models and contexts of health care and health related services from a local, national and international perspective and will further develop the professional behaviours and communication skills required across a range of clinical contexts. Students will use clinical reasoning skills to plan delivery and evaluation of evidence based, culturally sensitive, person-centred physiotherapy for individuals with complex health issues. Students will also develop professional report writing to document their clinical practice. Students will apply these skills as they transition into clinical placement to optimise outcomes for individuals with complex health issues in a variety of practice frameworks. This unit aims to prepare students for physiotherapy clinical practice.

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 - Identify and evaluate different models of health care provision in local, national and international contexts; (GA6, GA10)  

LO2 - Identify and evaluate the influence of social determinants of health when planning, delivering and optimising individualised physiotherapy (GA1, GA5) 

LO3 - Plan, evaluate and document evidenced-based, culturally responsive, person-centered care for individuals with complex health care problems including transition to community based health services. (GA1; GA3; GA5, GA9) 

LO4 - Reflect critically on professional and personal behaviours and skills that underpin effective, culturally responsive, client-centered practice in the provision of health care. (GA4, GA5) 

Graduate attributes

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

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

Models of health care provision and the influence upon physiotherapy practice

  • The Australian healthcare system (and how it specifically operates in the respective states of Qld and NSW)
  • Community-controlled health care
  • Physiotherapy in primary health care
  • Physiotherapy in developing countries
  • Community-based rehabilitation

Physiotherapy practice for people with complex health care issues. Students will explore complex health care issues relevant to contemporary physiotherapy practice through the use of case scenarios. Within these scenarios students will identify and discuss ethical, legal and professional issues relevant to physiotherapy practice. 

Examples include: 

  • Indigenous health
  • Rural and remote practice
  • Palliative care
  • Mental Health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Adolescents living with disabilities
  • Chronic pain management
  • The older person with numerous co-morbidities
  • Domestic violence
  • Torture and trauma

Community resources for supporting individuals/groups of people with complex health issues

  • Ageing and community care
  • Indigenous health services
  • Transitional care services for adolescents and young adults with chronic disease and/or disability

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning. This unit has two delivery patterns: intensive delivery on-shore (2 weeks) and intensive delivery off-shore (2 weeks). For both delivery patterns learning and teaching strategies include a combination of face-to-face, online, simulation, and other directed independent learning activities. Students will transition from tutor-led to peer and finally self-directed learning. Peer learning is encouraged through seminar presentations of physiotherapy practice for people with complex health care issues during the intensive delivery period, and contribution to a shared online collection of resources will encourage self-directed learning.

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 for this unit align with the presentation of the content and comprise a practical examiniaton, a group seminar and a written report. Assessment task 1 requires students to clinically reason and effectively apply appropriate therapeutic thecniques and trining of planned rehabilitation for complex cases. Assessment task 2 a group seminar paresentation, requires students to develop an evidence-based individualised comprehensive physiotherapy management plan for a person with complex health care needs. Assessment tasks 3, an individual submission of a case report, requires students to provide evidence professional report writing to document clinical practice.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Practical Examination


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9

Group Seminar


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA6, GA9, GA10 

Case report  

With structured reflective practice submission 

Individual, 1500 words


LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Adams, R.J., Howard, N., Tucker, G., et al. (2009) Effects of area deprivation on health risks and outcomes: a multilevel, cross-sectional, Australian population study. International Journal of Public Health, 54: 183-192.  

Brody, G.H., Ty, T., Chen, Y., et al. (2013) Cumulative socioeconomic status risk, allostatic load, and adjustment: a prospective latent profile analysis with contextual and genetic protective factors. Developmental Psychology, 49:913-927.  

Couzos, S., & Murray, R. (Eds.) (2008). Aboriginal primary health care: An evidence-based approach (3rded.). South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press. 

Eckermann, A. K., Dowd, T., Chong, E., Nixon, L., Gray, R., & Johnson, S. (2010). BinanGoonj: Bridging cultures in Aboriginal health (3rded.).  Marrickville, New South Wales: Elsevier Australia. 

Higgs, J., Smith, M., Webb, G., Skinner, M., and Croker, A. (Eds). (2009). Contexts of Physiotherapy Practice. Churchill Livingstone: Sydney. 

Laws, R.A., Jayasinghe, U.W., Harris, M.F. et al. (2009) Explaining the variation in the management of lifestyle risk factors in primary health care; A multilevel cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 9: 165. 

Taylor, J., Wilkinson, D., & Cheers, B. (2008). Working with communities in health and human services. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 

Willis, E., Reynolds, L., & Keleher, H. (Eds.). (2009). Understanding the Australian health care system. Chatswood, NSW: Churchill Livingstone.

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