Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PHTY300 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND PHTY301 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice 3 AND PHTY302 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 1

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

As a physiotherapist working with children you need to be able identify clinical problems that are pertinent to paediatric conditions and develop, implement, evaluate and progress an intervention program which is efficient, effective, culturally responsive, evidence-based and family-centred. In this unit you will build on the knowledge acquired, and clinical reasoning skills developed in earlier units of study. You will gain new knowledge regarding paediatric conditions resulting from musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and nervous system dysfunction. In addition, you will examine some of the legal requirements of working with children and their families, the features of implementing a family-centred approach and will consider the role of physiotherapy within the health-care team. The overall aim for the unit is to prepare students for professional practice in the area of paediatric 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 - Analyse the impact of the developing cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological systems on growth and development of the child from birth to adolescence (GA7, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Critically analyse and justify evidence-informed physiotherapy assessment and intervention, to address clinical problems associated with cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and nervous system dysfunction from birth to adolescence (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Describe and discuss the relevance of the legal requirements of working with children and their families, the features of child friendly communication and, the implementation of a family-centred approach and the role of physiotherapy within the health-care team (GA1, GA3, GA9). 

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

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: 

Child development: 

  • Emergence and development of movement from birth to adolescence 
  • Analysis of motor skills in children 
  • Impact of growth and development on the child’s competency to participate in activities at an age appropriate level 


Cardiorespiratory issues: 

  • Disorders related to prematurity 
  • Disorders of childhood and adolescence 
  • Effect of degenerative disorders on the cardiorespiratory system 
  • Rehabilitation of the cardiorespiratory compromised child 
  • Assessment, management and evaluation of interventions for cardiorespiratory conditions 


Musculoskeletal issues: 

  • Acute and chronic anomalies related to growth and development in infancy, childhood and adolescence 
  • Assessment, management and evaluation of interventions for musculoskeletal conditions 


Neurological issues: 

  • Infants and children at risk of developmental delay 
  • Mild motor impairment as a discrete disorder in childhood and in association with other developmental disorders of childhood  
  • Upper motor neuron lesions 
  • Lower motor neuron lesions 
  • Assessment, management and evaluation of interventions for neurological conditions 


Distinctive topics: 

  • Promotion of healthy lifestyle in children including sports, physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and childhood obesity 
  • Emerging areas of paediatric physiotherapy practice 
  • Exercise in children with chronic disease 
  • Legal requirements of working with children and their families 
  • Communication strategies in paediatric physiotherapy practice Features of implementing a child and family-centred approach to physiotherapy intervention  
  • Role of physiotherapy within the health-care team 

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.  This unit takes an authentic assessment approach allowing students to demonstrate their learning and competency for clinically relevant scenarios. As a final academic semester unit of study prior to commencing clinical placements student are required to demonstrate acquisition, understanding and application of knowledge in both written and verbal forms. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Requires students to locate, assimilate and synthesise information to demonstrate clinical reasoning relevant to a paediatric case scenario. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9


Requires students to locate, assimilate and synthesise information to demonstrate clinical reasoning relevant to a paediatric case scenario.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9 

End-semester viva examination: 

Requires students to demonstrate competency in clinical reasoning through the ability to plan and justify appropriate assessment and treatment techniques for paediatric case scenarios. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Brukner, P., Clarsen, B., Cook, J., Cools, A., Crossley, K., Hutchinson, M. R., McCrory, P., Bahr, R., & Khan, K. (2017). Brukner & Khan's clinical sports medicine. Volume 1, Injuries (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Levitt, S., & Addison, A. (2019). Treatment of cerebral palsy and motor delay (6th ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.

Main E, Denehy L. (2016). Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy: Adults and Paediatrics E-Book: formerly Physiotherapy for Respiratory and Cardiac Problems (5th ed). Elsevier

Palisano, R., Orlin, M., & Schreiber, J. (2017). Campbell's physical therapy for children (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Shepherd, R. B. (Ed.). (2014). Cerebral palsy in infancy: Targeted activity to optimize early growth and development. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 

Sheridan, M. D. (2008).  From birth to five years: Children’s developmental progress, (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.

South, M., & Isaacs, D. (2012). Practical paediatrics (7th ed.). Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Shumway-Cook, A., & Woollacott, M. H. (2017). Motor control : translating research into clinical practice (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

Tecklin, J. S. (Ed.). (2015). Pediatric physical therapy, (5th ed.). Philadelphia: J.B Lippincott. 

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