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    Application and integration of the principles of biological, social and medical sciences and evidence-informed practice to the introductory skills of musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiopulmonary physiotherapy rehabilitation.

    About this paper

    Paper title Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Science 1
    Subject Physiotherapy
    EFTS 0.38
    Points 48 points
    Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,972.36
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to

    First Semester: Associate Professor Daniel Ribeiro (

    Second Semester:Dr Carrie Falling (

    Teaching staff
    Associate Professor Daniel Ribeiro (Paper Co-ordinator, first semester)

    Dr Carrie Falling (Paper Co-ordinator, second semester)

    Dr Cathy Chapple

    Dr Ally Calder

    Dr Daniela Aldabe

    Dr Ewan Kennedy

    Dr Prasath Jayakaran

    Professor Leigh Hale

    Associate Professor Gisela Sole

    Associate Professor Lynley Anderson

    Chris Higgs

    Dr Emily Gray

    Mr Elijah Areli

    Katrina Bryant

    Claire Hargest

    Lizz Carrington

    Dr Sarah Rhodes

    Rebecca Armstrong

    Donna Smith

    Paper Structure
    The paper is designed as a 48-point, full-year paper with both formal lectures and laboratory sessions supplemented by self-directed modules and learning tasks scheduled throughout the paper to ensure the acquisition of effective, appropriate and safe clinical skills.
    Teaching Arrangements
    All teaching is undertaken on campus.


    • Main, Eleanor & Denehy, Linda. Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy: Adults and Paediatrics (5th edition). Churchill Livingstone. ISBN:9780702047312
    • Watson, Tim. Electrophysical Agents: Evidence-based Practice - Physiotherapy Essentials (13th edition, 2020). Elsevier. ISBN:9780702051517
    • Coombes, Jeff. ESSA's Student Manual for Health, Exercise and Sport Assessment (2nd edition, 2021). Elsevier. ISBN:9780729542692
    • Shumway-Cook, Anne. Motor Control: Translating Research into Clinical Practice (6th edition, 2022). Lippincott Williams & Wil. ISBN:9781975158279
    • Shumway-Cook, Anne, PT, PhD, Fapta. Motor Control: Motor Control: Translating Research Into Clinical Practice (5th edition). Lippincott Williams & Wil. IBSN:9781496302632
    • Petty, Nicola J. Musculoskeletal Examination and Assessment - Volume 1: A Handbook for Therapists (6th edition). Elsevier. IBSN:9780702067174
    • Lennon, Sheila. Physical Management for Neurological Conditions. Elsevier. IBSN:9780702071744
    • Main, Denehy. Physiotherapy for Respiratory and Cardiac Problems: Adults and Paediatrics (6th edition, 2022). Elsevier. IBSN:9780702081064
    • Kisner, Carolyn & Lynn Colby. Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques (8th edition). F A Davis. IBSN:9780803658509


    • Brukner, Peter et al. Brukner and Khan's Clinical Sports Medicine vol 1: Injuries (5th edition). McGraw Hill Australia. ISBN:9781760421663
    • Pountney, Teresa. Physiotherapy for children (2007). Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier. ISBN:0750688866 / ISBN:9780750688864
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the Te Whare Tapa Whā model of healthcare and its application to physiotherapy rehabilitation and practice, centred on the holistic health and wellbeing of the client
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of relevant anatomy, physiology, pathology, biomechanics, other biomedical sciences relevant to human health and function, and psychosocial and other determinants of health within the context of physiotherapy and best available research evidence
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of clients, self, context and the wider community during the application of physiotherapy rehabilitation and practice, especially in consideration of ethnicity, culture, disability, gender, age and vulnerability
    4. Demonstrate good communication skills
    5. Demonstrate the skills required to be a reflective practitioner and self-directed learner
    6. Demonstrate a basic understanding of what a professional and ethical physiotherapy practitioner is.
    7. Demonstrate ability to use education and lead education of others
    8. Demonstrate basic knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice, including evidence-based practice
    9. Apply basic knowledge and understanding of core theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice across the lifespan, from birth to end of life care
    10. Apply basic knowledge and understanding of core theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice across acute, rehabilitation and community practice in a range of environments and settings
    11. Demonstrate an understanding of interprofessional and collaborative practice
    12. Demonstrate basic knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles relevant to physiotherapy practice in health promotion and facilitation of client self-management strategies to enhance their health and well-being
    13. Discuss methodological issues related to basic measurement and evaluation in physiotherapy
    14. Demonstrate, at a basic level, an efficient, effective, culturally responsive and client-centred physiotherapy assessment, including:
    • Explain the purpose of physiotherapy assessment and any relevant risks and options
    • Conduct an appropriate and relevant client interview, collecting information about the client's prior function, physical abilities and participation, and identify the client's expectations of physiotherapy
    • Plan a physiotherapy assessment drawing on applied knowledge of pathology, anatomy, physiology, other core biomedical sciences relevant to human health and function and determinants of health relevant to the client's impairments, limitations and participation restrictions
    • Analyse movement to differentiate between normal and abnormal function and apply this to the clinical reasoning process
    • Select and demonstrate basic diagnostic tests, assessment tools and outcome measures of body structure and function, specifically, of joint range of motion, muscle performance, sensory status, soft tissue integrity, and cardio-respiratory function
    • Select and demonstrate basic diagnostic tests, assessment tools and outcome measures of activity, specifically, posture and balance, gait and mobility, upper limb function, capacity for exercise and activities of daily living
    • Recognise and evaluate the social, personal and environmental factors that may impact on a client's functioning, disability and health
    1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the clinical reasoning process used to integrate knowledge of a client's presenting problems with the information gathered during the physiotherapy assessment, to explain the diagnosis and/or causes of presenting problems
    2. Demonstrate the use of mobility adjuncts, safe patient handling and transfer skills
    3. Develop and safely and effectively apply basic evidenced-based physiotherapy treatment programmes, underpinned by sound clinical reasoning, to manage clients with simple health and movement dysfunction
    4. Demonstrate the ability to prescribe and modify treatment and exercise programmes according to the specific requirements of the client
    5. Use knowledge and understanding of core theoretical concepts and principles, relevant to physiotherapy practice in health promotion and facilitation of client self-management strategies, to enhance their health and well-being
    Children's Act
    Students are required to complete Children's Act safety checks.When is Student Safety Check for this paper is processed? This paper is limited to a programme


    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 08:00-08:50 9-10, 12-13, 15-16, 18-22, 30, 32, 41
    Tuesday 08:00-08:50 9-13, 15-22, 29-32, 34-35, 37, 39, 41
    Tuesday 14:00-14:50 11
    Wednesday 08:00-08:50 9-13, 15-21, 29-31, 35, 39, 41
    Wednesday 13:00-13:50 21
    Thursday 13:00-13:50 13
    Friday 08:00-08:50 9-12, 15-21
    Friday 09:00-09:50 40
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