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OTHY300 Neurological Rehabilitation 1

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Occupational therapy in neurological rehabilitation aims to enable people with neurological conditions to participate in occupations they need to, want to or are expected to do. This unit builds on the knowledge of neurological conditions and measurement gained in the unit OTHY300 Neurological Rehabilitation 1.. This unit provides students with knowledge and practical skills to work with individuals with a neurological condition to enable their occupational performance and participation. Using professional reasoning and applying the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement (CMOP-E), students will develop person-centred, evidence-based intervention plans. As part of this unit, students engage in ten (10) hours of professional practice. This unit contains learning outcomes from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Curriculum Framework (HCF) (2014) specifically addressing the HCF cultural capabilities Communicate.

The overall aim of this unit is to develop student knowledge and skill in adult neurological rehabilitation to provide evidence-based interventions with clients with neurological conditions.

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 - Apply professional reasoning to select and plan evidence-based interventions for people with neurological conditions to achieve their goals (GA2, GA4, GA10)

LO2 - Demonstrate effective communication and practice skills to complete an initial interview and an occupational performance analysis with an individual with a neurological condition. (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Collaborate in a small group to conduct an initial interview, appropriate assessments, collaborative goal setting, occupational performance analysis, and determine evidence -based intervention approaches for a client with neurological conditions. (GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - HCF 8.3 Establish strategies to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, organisations and communities, and devise a plan to respectfully acquire cultural information (GA1, GA8)

Graduate attributes

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

GA2. recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

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 

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

Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards (AOTCS) (2018)

Australian Occupational Therapy Competency Standards (AOTCS) (2018) developed in this unit are:

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Standard 1 - Professionalism

An occupational therapist practises in an ethical, safe, lawful and accountable manner, supporting client health and wellbeing through occupation and consideration of the person and their environment.

An occupational therapist:

1.3 Maintains professional boundaries in all client and professional relationships

1.5 Practices in a culturally responsive and culturally safe manner, with particular respect to culturally diverse client groups

1.7 Collaborates and consults ethically and responsibly for effective client-centred and inter-professional practice

1.8 Adheres to all work health and safety, and quality requirements for practice

1.9 Identifies and manages the influence of her/his values and culture on practice

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Standard 2 - Knowledge and learning

An occupational therapist’s knowledge, skills and behaviours in practice are informed by relevant and contemporary theory, practice knowledge and evidence, and are maintained and developed by ongoing professional development and learning.

An occupational therapist:

2.1 Applies current and evidence-informed knowledge of occupational therapy and other appropriate and relevant theory in practice

2.2 Applies theory and frameworks of occupation to professional practice and decision making

2.3 Identifies and applies best available evidence in professional practice and decision making

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Standard 3 - Occupational therapy process and practice

An occupational therapist’s practice acknowledges the relationship between health, wellbeing and human occupation, and their practice is client-centred for individuals, groups, communities and populations.

An occupational therapist:

3.1 Addresses occupational performance and participation of clients, identifying the enablers and barriers to engagement

3.2 Performs appropriate information gathering and assessment when identifying a client’s status and functioning, strengths, occupational performance and goals

3.3 Collaborates with the client and relevant others to determine the priorities and occupational therapy goals.

3.5 Selects and implements culturally responsive and safe practices to suit the occupational therapy goals and environment of the client

3.6 Seeks to understand and incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ experience of health, wellbeing and occupations encompassing cultural connections

3.7 Reflects on practice to inform and communicate professional reasoning and decision making

3.8 Identifies and uses practice guidelines and protocols suitable to the practice setting or work environment

3.13 Uses appropriate assistive technology, devices and/or environmental modifications to achieve client occupational performance outcomes

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Standard 4 - Communication

Occupational therapists practise with open, responsive and appropriate communication to maximise the occupational performance and engagement of clients and relevant others.

An occupational therapist:

4.1 Communicates openly, respectfully and effectively

4.2 Adapts written, verbal and non-verbal communication appropriate to the client and practice context

4.4 Uses culturally responsive, safe and relevant communication tools and strategies

4.5 Complies with legal and procedural requirements for the responsible and accurate documentation, sharing and storage of professional information and records of practice

4.6 Maintains contemporaneous, accurate and complete records of practice

4.7 Obtains informed consent for practice and information sharing from the client or legal guardian

4.8 Maintains collaborative professional relationships with clients, health professionals and relevant others

4.9 Uses effective communication skills to initiate and end relationships with clients and relevant others

4.11 Identifies and articulates the rationale for practice to clients and relevant others.

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4


Topics will include:

Goal setting and documentation

International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) – measures at the level of body function and structure, activity and participation

Goal Attainment Scale (GAS)

Occupational therapy rehabilitation for adults with neurological conditions


  • Promoting participation


  • Activities of daily living retraining
  • Activity and task analysis in context of neurological impairment
  • Upper limb and hand function, facilitating movement through task specific retraining, constraint induced movement therapy

Body Structures and Function

  • Cognitive intervention
  • Tone, spasticity and the effects on movement and function
  • Functional neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • Psychosocial impairments
  • Visual Perception

Evidence-based interventions

Mirror therapy

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy

Motor Relearning

Mental rehearsal


Task specific retraining

Somatosensory retraining

Seating and positioning

Cognitive Rehabilitation

Strategies to support interventions

Environmental adaptation and assistive technology

Consumer perspectives

Professional Practice

Written, verbal and nonverbal communication

  • Compensation and adaptation to impairment
  • Remedial approaches
  • Engaging in occupational roles
  • Prevention of dysfunction/ health promotion
  • Rehabilitation in the acute, rehabilitation centres, and community settings

Driving and driving assessment

Occupational performance assessment and interview

Promoting occupational performance

  • Manual handling and transfers
  • Managing challenging behaviour
  • Home assessment
  • Equipment prescription
  • Adaptive equipment including technology aids
  • Seating and positioning
  • Energy conservation/ work simplification
  • Professional reasoning

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery for this unit include lectures, tutorials and practical sessions, client case studies and self-directed learning. Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will aid in students constructing knowledge and will apply to real-life situations of occupational therapy practice. 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.

The lectures will provide a framework for the content of this unit and situate it within an occupational therapy practice context. The practicals and tutorials will provide opportunity for experiential learning in the areas of providing evidence-based occupational therapy interventions for clients with neurological conditions, setting occupationally focused goals and evaluating client and service outcomes. Experiential learning in this unit is an important aspect for learning about how to administer and describe an evidence-based intervention for clients as this type of learning allows students to practice the cognitive, sensory and motor patterns and communication skills required to become a competent occupational therapist. Learning and Teaching approaches included in this unit were developed in collaboration with First Peoples’ Cultural Advisors.

Students will also undertake ten hours of Professional Practice Placement as part of this unit, which will provide an opportunity to interview a client with a neurological condition, complete an occupational analysis of the client completing a functional task, and develop an evidence-based treatment plan for this client. This client interview and treatment planning activity serves as preparation for the five-week Professional Practice Placement immediately following this subject where students become more responsible for the provision of occupational therapy services under supervision.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment approaches in this unit were developed in collaboration with First Peoples’ Cultural Advisors. A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and to develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures include: three online quizzes (Assessment 1), a written report on an individual client (Assessment 2), and a practical/oral examination (Assessment 3). Students will work collaboratively in a group of four to interview a client and in pairs to prepare a written assignment for Assessment 2. The practical/oral examination will be completed individually by students.

Assessment 1: Quizzes

Three online open book quizzes with multiple choice questions are spread throughout the semester to assess students’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts and provide feedback on students’ learning. The second quiz also contains short answer questions to assess application of knowledge. The first quiz occurs early in semester to engage students with this unit. Each successive quiz is designed to build students’ skills, knowledge and confidence with the course content.

Assessment 2: Written Assignment Case Report

Students work collaboratively in a small group (4 students) to interview a client with a neurological condition. Students gain experience preparing for and conducting an information gathering interview and basic occupational performance analysis with the client. This learning activity provides students with an opportunity to further develop their skills in gaining relevant information and communicating with a client. Students work in pairs to develop a written report that provides background information on the client, a summary of the occupational performance analysis, as well as developing a goal-focused evidence-based intervention plan for the client. These assessment activities engage students in active, authentic learning and practical problem-solving experiences. It encourages collaboration, cooperation and communication and provides for authentic skill development.

Assessment 3: Practical Examination

Assessment 3 is a practical oral examination. The purpose of the practical examination is for students to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skill on how to set appropriate goals for a person with neurological impairment.
  2. Use clinical reasoning to determine appropriate interventions for a person with neurological impairment, and
  3. Demonstrate appropriate interventions for a person with neurological impairment.

Students are provided with a clinical case scenario of a person with a neurological condition. In the presentation students present information outlining the client’s occupational performance issues and relevant client centred goals, as well as providing a demonstration and rationale for an evidence-based therapy intervention for that client. This allows students to demonstrate their understanding and application of knowledge of a neurological condition, communication skills, clinical reasoning, and ability to answer questions related to their clinical knowledge. This assessment provides students with an opportunity to synthesise knowledge learned across a number of units and apply this knowledge in an authentic form of assessment. It encourages independence and requires organisation, encourages understanding of the complexity of professional roles and communication skills relevant to their profession.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

3 Quizzes: 

The quizzes are designed to assess knowledge and

understanding of topics studied. This provides students

and lecturers with feedback about students’ understanding

of key concepts.

20% total

Quiz 1 Multiple choice (5%)

Quiz 2 Multiple choice plus short answers (10%)

Quiz 3 Multiple choice (5%)

LO1, LO3

GA4, GA5

Written assignment (in pairs):

This assessment enables students to:

a) Gain experience conducting an initial interview and an occupational performance analysis with an individual with a neurological condition.

b) To determine appropriate goals for a person with a neurological condition.

c) To develop an evidence-based intervention plan for a person with a neurological condition.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10

Practical examination: Study week

This assessment item enables students to:

a) To demonstrate knowledge and skill on how to set appropriate goals for a person with a neurological condition.

b) To use professional reasoning to determine evidence -based interventions for a person with a neurological condition.

c) To demonstrate evidence based intervention interventions for a person with neurological impairment.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Gillen, G. (2016). Stroke rehabilitation: A function-based approach (4th ed.). Mosby.

Radomski, V. M., & Trombly Latham, C. A. (Eds.). (2014). Occupational therapy for physical dysfunction (7th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Gillen, G. (2009). Cognitive and perceptual rehabilitation: Optimising Performance. Mosby.

Schenkman, M. L., Bowman, J. P., Gisbert, R. L., Butler, R. B., Giddings, D., & Sawyer, S. (2013). Clinical neuroscience for rehabilitation. Pearson.

Shumway-Cook, A., & Woollacott, M. H. (2012). Motor control: Translating research into clinical practice (4th ed.). Lippinott Williams & Wilkins.

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