Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation Science
What will I study?
What you will learn
Rehabilitation theory and practice
You will be able to fluently and accurately discuss and debate key theoretical concepts in contemporary rehabilitation practices using the language of rehabilitation science. You will be able to apply the knowledge of muscle and exercise physiology and pathophysiology of common conditions to the design, implementation and evaluation of rehabilitation programs. You’ll also be able to recognise the influence of the social and culture determinants of health and how these influence individual’s choices and health behaviours and act consistently to promote a shared decision making model of rehabilitation practice.
Evidence and innovation
You will learn to analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate research and evidence relevant to rehabilitation practices. As well as, effectively measure both the health status of individuals and groups and monitor and measure the outcomes of rehabilitation strategies.
Clinical Practice in Context
You will be able to safely and effectively apply evidence informed rehabilitation practices in selected practice contexts, responding to physical, social and cultural factors that influence the individual and likely outcomes. You will be able to justify clinical decision-making for a range of clinical cases in diverse rehabilitation contexts based on literature and practice priorities and apply all elements of best practice in rehabilitation, including respectful communication with clients and shared decision making to achieve therapeutic goals.
To gain a Graduate Certificate in Rehabilitation Science you must complete 50 points comprising of:
- Two core subjects; and
- Two elective subjects.
On average, it is estimated that students will be required to allocate 15-19 hours per week for ‘study’ time for each subject. However, the time commitment required can vary for each student based on individual task management and planning skills, familiarity with the material, reading style and speed.
You can also study single subjects to contribute to your professional development. For more information, please contact Student Support.
Edward Mohandoss is a Physiotherapist in a public hospital in Melbourne and is relishing online learning despite his early reservations. The 43-year-old who works in geriatric rehabilitation says, “I was a bit apprehensive about the online mode of study as I was not confident with IT skills.” He adds enthusiastically that he found he was “able to cope with online learning with appropriate support from staff and fellow students.”
Shaking off his initial fears about the online learning environment has meant that the busy working father of a young family can now fulfil one of his long-time goals – to complete a masters degree. He explains, “The online nature of the course offered me flexibility so that I can spend time with my young family and balance the stress of full-time work.”
Edward says he hopes “to gain knowledge on current trends in rehabilitation and basic concepts in research” and describes the online Master of Rehabilitation Science as a confidence booster.
"Some of the assessment tasks such as writing a research proposal and feasibility proposal have given me immense confidence in participating in clinical research and quality improvement projects."
The highlight of online study for Edward has been the relationships he’s established with his peers. He says, “My favourite part of studying this course is the interaction between fellow students in the discussion boards and webinar sessions. Even if you miss the webinar sessions there is an option of watching the recorded version which was very useful for someone like me with full-time work.”
Edward explains that online learning has enabled him to “become knowledgeable about healthcare systems across the world.” He adds, “Given our interaction with students from different countries, it was interesting to compare similarities and differences in health care systems and its impact on patient outcomes.”
The Future looks bright for Edward. Already, he’s reaping the rewards of his new-found skills and confidence. He says, “The knowledge I’ve gained so far has made me a better clinician and people respect me when I share this knowledge, especially in my work place.”
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this certificate.
- Foundations of Rehabilitation 12.5
Foundations of Rehabilitation
This wholly online subject is a foundation subject to introduce students to selected core theory and frameworks that underpin the development and delivery of best practice evidence informed rehabilitation services across a range of disciplines and clinical practice contexts, across the lifespan. The subject will provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills related to the selection and delivery of appropriate and best practice rehabilitation services that are tailored to meet the needs of individuals, groups, or services. Students will gain skills, demonstrate understanding, and critically review the applicability of a range of models to deliver rehabilitation services including interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, community and home-based.
The subject is divided into modules to allow flexibility for students to choose areas of rehabilitation practice that best match their disciplinary interests or work context. Assessment will include the development of single discipline and multidisciplinary rehabilitation that can be used in a clinical context. All students will complete four modules within this subject.
Module 1: A Foundational Module will be completed by all students and introduces the theory underpinning and defining key features of best practice in rehabilitation. A theoretical framework, based on the International Classification of Functioning (WHO), will be introduced as a method of classification and consideration of the rehabilitation needs of an individual. Students will acquire skills in mapping the impact of health conditions into multiple domains and considering the associated personal and environmental factors though a series of diverse case studies. The constructs of habilitation and rehabilitation will be explored in the context of lifelong disabilities. A range of models of rehabilitation services will be introduced.
Modules 2 and 3: Students will then choose two from three modules that best meet their learning interests and/or practice or discipline interests. These modules are:
- Adult rehabilitation services
- Paediatric rehabilitation services
- Rehabilitation policy and regulation
Students selecting the adults and paediatric modules will develop the skills to identify literature related to a rehabilitation method or approach used in their own setting. Students will develop a concise summary of the existing evidence, critically evaluate the quality of evidence to support the chosen intervention. Students will identify and justifying core elements of rehabilitation services provided across a patient journey in different care settings. This will include gathering, synthesising and appraising evidence, as well as applying this to practice considering personal and environmental factors.
The Rehabilitation policy and regulation module will allow students to identify and analyse the relevant government and local health policy that influences equitable access to rehabilitation services. This will be explored within their own context and contrasted with policy from other global regions. The potential influence of service access on patient outcomes will be considered in depth.
Module 4: The final integration module will be completed by all students and addresses the integration and application of evidence informed rehabilitation practice. This module provides students with an opportunity to extend and demonstrate skills in developing and justifying evidence-informed rehabilitation programs and to hear from rehabilitation experts.
- Rehabilitation Activity and Exercise 12.5
Rehabilitation Activity and Exercise
This subject will enable students to integrate and extend prior knowledge on lifestyle and wellness behaviours to effectively and safely support optimal health of individuals, groups and specific populations across the lifespan and along the health and impairment continuum. Students will draw critically on the evidence for lifestyle behaviours needed for good health with an emphasis on the recommendations for physical activity and exercise. Students will also explore health risks due to sedentary behaviour and other lifestyle choices (such as poor diet, sleep hygiene and stress), and investigate current options for delivery and evaluation of programs to manage these risks and incorporate evidence informed behavioural interventions to promote optimal health. Students will build on their clinical reasoning skills to theorise the mechanism of an individuals' health deficits from an holistic, patient-centred, biopsychosocial perspective, and design a plan that includes a physical activity program plus other lifestyle changes to meet the goals of optimal health outcomes for an individual. Students will be expected to be critical in their analysis and evaluations of new and emerging evidence base around lifestyle choices.
All students will complete a Foundational module (Weeks 1-3) that will explore the pathophysiological and psychosocial theory of rehabilitation and evidence–based health outcomes of lifestyle and wellness behaviours with an emphasis on physical activity but also including other healthy lifestyle choices. A biopsychosocial framework will emphasise the biological, mechanical, social, psychological and cultural elements that influence health and health-enhancing behaviour.
Students will then choose three from five modules that best meets their learning interests and/or practice needs. These modules are:
This module is recommended for all students unless they have prior research or systematic review experience. The module will focus on developing skills to search for, evaluate and synthesise the evidence base on the efficacy of physical activity, exercise, and other lifestyle behaviour programs that reflect the practice interests of students. Students will appraise both qualitative and quantitative evidence on selected programs for specified populations, including programs that support current exercise and physical activity guidelines and priorities. Students will practice framing a question, writing a search strategy, evaluating (appraising) the findings, synthesising the information, and considering application to their clinical practice.
- Fitness, Physical Activity and Exercise.
This module will cover the body systems and functions that contribute to strength and fitness. The primary focus will be on building knowledge of the different types of exercise activity (cardio-vascular, fitness, strength, flexibility) and how these might be used to achieve different outcomes. The module will also cover measurement of physical activity and exercise tolerance along the lifespan and the health and impairment continuum, including the role of new emerging innovations and technology tools that support current exercise and physical activity guidelines and priorities.
- Optimising health for the Adult/Older Population.
This module will address the assessment and analyses of health-related needs for adults/older adults including the selection of appropriate exercise interventions. Students will compare and contrast the personal and environmental circumstances that influence participation preferences of adults/older adults within diverse practice contexts, and take an holistic person-centred approach to planning a program for optimising health.
This module will address the assessment and analyses of health-related movement needs for children and the selection of appropriate advice and interventions. The 24hr recommendations for the early years initially developed in Canada form the basis for this module. This approach is an integration of physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep recommendations. Students will also compare and contrast the personal and environmental circumstances that influence participation preferences of children within diverse practice contexts.
- Community Approaches to Physical Activity/Inactivity.
In this module, students will use some provided case scenarios to identify and analyse typical community-based and community-wide activity and exercise programs designed for individuals or groups across the lifespan. They will consider the influences of the environment, such as evidence for the role of the green environment and urban planning, in providing the space and motivation to engage in physical activity within the community. Finally, they will consider technological innovations, such as portable, wearable technologies, regularly used in the community setting.
The final integration module will be completed by all students. Students will consider their role, in terms of their health profession and practice context, in facilitating healthier lifestyles and improved wellbeing of their patients/clients. The final module (Week 8) will also focus on the design and evaluation of an holistic lifestyle intervention to meet the needs of an individual or a group with common impairments or health needs. Students will apply a model of rehabilitation best practice and using an ICF informed framework, in the execution of this task.
In this subject, students will also reflect on their personal attitudes to lifestyle choices and the privilege of their background and opportunities. They will concisely and effectively communicate their understanding of the range of options their patients/clients, in their particular practice context(s), have to improve their health and wellbeing.
- Rehabilitation in the Acute Setting 12.5
Rehabilitation in the Acute Setting
This online subject provides students with the opportunity to build a deep understanding of the safe and effective application of rehabilitation principles to meet the health needs of individuals with critical illness. Attention is focused primarily on the assessment and rehabilitation of individuals within the intensive care setting and consideration on planning for reintegration back into the community. This subject will provide a problem based approach to enable students with an opportunity to extend their understanding of advanced anatomy, physiology, pathology, assessment and treatment in relation to ICU rehabilitation. The emphasis in this subject is the application of clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice in the safe and effective assessment and rehabilitation of individuals within the intensive care setting and consideration post intensive care on their ongoing management. Consideration will also be given to the rights of individuals and impact of team management processes in providing rehabilitation within the acute setting.
All students will complete four modules within this subject.
All students will complete a Foundational module that will explore anatomy, physiology and pathology which may affect the different body systems in particular the cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. The implications of impairment in these systems will be considered in conjunction with the monitoring (lines and attachments) that may be seen with individuals who are critically unwell. At the end of this module students will also have an understanding of the legacy of post intensive care syndrome and the burden of survivorship on the physical, cognitive and mental health of survivors and also the impact on the mental health of family.
Students will then choose two from four modules that best meets their learning interests and/or practice needs. These modules are:
1. Rehabilitation in the Intensive Care Setting module comprises the study of non-volitional and volitional rehabilitation strategies including consideration of safety, exercise prescription, delivery methods and evaluation of the program
2. Rehabilitation considerations post intensive care module addresses rehabilitation, exercise prescription, delivery and the evaluation of exercise programs in the ward and community setting.
3. Outcome Measures across the continuum module focuses on outcome measures which can be utilised to measure impairment, activity limitations and participation restriction in line with the International Classification of Functioning framework. Course content will include specific development of the performance and interpretation of measurements and consideration of the clinimetric properties of outcomes.
4. Culture Change and Implementation module covers the analyses of cultural factors that enable and restrict the implementation of rehabilitation in acute settings. Leadership and management theory will be used as a basis for designing and negotiating barriers to implementation of mobility and rehabilitation protocols into acute setting such as intensive and critical care settings.
The final integration module will be completed by all students and will focus on the application of rehabilitation theory to practice with an understanding of the needs of the individual within the ICU and community settings. Students will integrate and apply their learning from the previous three modules into context specific applications. They will select appropriate outcome measures and critically review literature to solve contextually relevant rehabilitation challenges demonstrating in-depth understanding of the complexity of the medical stability of the patient and choice of rehabilitation strategies.
- Rehabilitation for Paediatrics 12.5
Rehabilitation for Paediatrics
This online subject provides students with the opportunity to build an understanding of the safe and effective application of intervention and rehabilitation principles to meet the health needs of infants, children and adolescents and their families. The subject will focus on understanding typical development across the motor, cognitive, language and social-emotional domains throughout childhood. Students will develop an extended knowledge of evidence-based assessments, interventions and rehabilitation for childhood-onset disabilities in order to improve their daily life and participation in the society. Students will design and evaluate a rehabilitation program in their own context and will contribute to the learning of other students via discussion board and an online presentation.
All students will complete four modules within this subject.
All students will complete a foundational module that will use the ICF (international classification of function, disability and health) to explore the development of body structures and function of infant, child and adolescent development across motor, cognitive, language and socio-emotional domains. Students will develop their understanding of the typical development and factors that may alter this development pathway and appreciate age appropriate activity and participation. During the foundational module, students will also explore motor learning interventions in paediatrics. Students will learn about the application of motor learning principles for effective rehabilitation interventions for children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental, neuromusculoskeletal or acquired neurological
Students will then choose two from the following three modules that best meets their learning interests and/or practice needs. These modules are:
1. The ‘Early detection of neurodevelopmental impairments’ module describes evidence-based diagnostic, assessment and prognostic options for infants at high risk of neurodevelopmental impairments. Students will learn about clinical pathways and
decision-making trees that include assessment and expected outcomes based on best available evidence.
2. The ‘Gait development’ module will cover typical and atypical gait development from infants to adolescence, including assessment of common gait impairments and disorders secondary to neurodevelopment, neuromusculoskeletal or acquired impairments. Assessment will focus on the temporo-spatial, kinematics and kinetics determinants of gait.
3. The ‘Transition from childhood to adulthood’ module will cover the biological and social role transitions from child to adolescence and adolescence to adulthood. Students will investigate how environmental factors (such as health policy and health service
provision) and personal factors (such as socioemotional responses) characterise these transitions and the subsequent health and wellness experiences of the individual.
The final Integration module will be completed by all students and will focus on the application of rehabilitation theory to practice with an understanding of the needs of the individual and engagement with a group program. Students will integrate and apply their learning from the previous modules into context specific applications. They will select appropriate outcomes measures and critically review literature to solve contextually relevant rehabilitation challenges.
- Rehabilitation for Women's Health 12.5
Rehabilitation for Women's Health
This online subject provides students with the opportunity to build a deep understanding of the safe and effective application of rehabilitation principles to meet the health needs of women. Attention is focused on conditions affecting women specifically from young adulthood through to their reproductive and older years. Students will develop an extended knowledge of pathophysiology and clinical presentations that typically affect women’s experience of women’s health. Students will use an evidence-informed framework for their analysis and synthesis of recent literature and contextual factors that influence clinical practice across the lifespan.
All students will complete foundational work that will explore the typical physiological changes occurring in women from young adulthood through to the reproductive and older years.
Students will then choose 2 from 3 streams that best meets their learning interests and/or practice needs. These streams are:
1. Young women stream focuses on a deeper exploration of the physical, psychological and cultural expressions of adolescent development and the rehabilitation of clinical conditions associated with adolescence e.g. dysmenorrhea, female athlete triad.
2. Fertile women stream comprises of an exploration of fertility and infertility. There will be a focus on physical and psychological changes occurring during the childbearing year and post-natal recovery and appropriate rehabilitation.
3. Older women stream will focus on the physiology and psychology of the maturing woman including the effects of physical activity on the ageing musculoskeletal system, and the management of conditions associated with advancing age e.g. incontinence, bone health.
All students will then focus on the application of rehabilitation theory to practice. Students will critically review literature and with an understanding of the needs of the individual and her engagement within a group program will solve contextually relevant rehabilitation challenges for women.
- Rehabilitation in Neurology 12.5
Rehabilitation in Neurology
This wholly online subject introduces students to the rapidly evolving field of neurorehabilitation. The theories and the evidence supporting the theories will be reviewed to identify why selected neurorehabilitation approaches are effective for people with neurological conditions. This subject will provide students with an opportunity to critically review their own neurorehabilitation practice in the areas of assessment, analysis and treatment planning. Students will be required to synthesise and interpret the evidence to demonstrate how it could be applied in their own setting to improve their current practice.
This subject is divided into modules to allow flexibility for students to choose areas of neurorehabilitation that best match their interests or work context. Similarly, there is flexibility in the assessment tasks to allow students to focus upon areas of neurorehabilitation that are of interest and relevant to their working context.
All students will complete a foundational theory module that reviews the relevant neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neuropathology that is the basis for understanding theories related to recovery following a neurological injury. Students will then choose two from three modules that best meet their learning interests and/or practice needs.
These modules are:
1. Strength Training: This module will examine theories and evidence related to neuropathology and recovery at the level of body structure and function using strength training as a specific example. Normal walking and muscle function will be reviewed and the evidence that is emerging from research into strength training in stroke and other neurological conditions will be evaluated to identify how the knowledge could be applied in the clinical context.
2. Activities and Participation: This module will examine the relationship between activities and participation for people with neurological conditions. The module will also review the application of person-centred goals and the delivery of evidence-based treatments to achieve them. The effectiveness of new therapeutic approaches to improving activity and participation will be examined including the use of virtual reality.
3. Environment: This module will examine the role of the environment in neurorehabilitation including emerging evidence from animal and human studies that show how environmental enrichment affects recovery at the level of body structure and activity. The module will also examine how innovative technologies such as telerehabilitation could be applied to in the neurorehabilitation context.
The final module is an integration and application of the concepts explored during the foundational and selective streams. Students will have an opportunity to further explore the themes that have emerged through student and expert presentations.
- Ageing in Society 12.5
Ageing in Society
This subject aims to offer students a critical examination of the ways in which ageing is socially constructed. Students will learn about ageing from a range of perspectives, including life course, bio-medical, gender, cross cultural, consumer, historical and self-reflection. The subject will focus on how the prevailing social context shapes ideas, relationships, and practices with specific implications for older people. This subject will critically analyse all forms of ageism and how older people are portrayed in literature, media and government policy using case studies from Australia and other countries around the world. Students will be encouraged to reflect on what ageing means to them, how they would like to age and what the impact of an ageing population might mean for future policy development.
- Body of Ageing 12.5
Body of Ageing
This subject focuses on how the body and its systems are affected by ageing and explores the differences between the natural ageing process and physical changes that develop as a result of illness with older persons. Students will also examine the effects of the environment and lifestyle factors on musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and neurological systems that contribute to the experience of ageing and to the individual’s capability to engage with their participation preferences. Understanding the common impairments and physiological changes behind them that occur as part of ageing process provides students with a fundamental base to critically analyse as well as develop strategies for healthy ageing and disease prevention.
- Economics of Ageing 12.5
Economics of Ageing
The subject examines the influence of private and public/government decision-making on the economic well-being of older people. These decisions include private decisions to prepare for old-age and to live through old-age by saving and managing assets such as housing, superannuation, annuities and other assets and government decisions to provide income support, health care and regulations that aim to protect old people. The influence of behavioural biases, as uncovered by behavioural economics, will be discussed. The subject also covers how an ageing population exerts upward pressure on the taxation required to finance government activities and services for the aged and how this may affect the ‘social contract’, in which the young assist the old in expectation of assistance when they are old from succeeding generations.
- End of Life Issues 12.5
End of Life Issues
This subject explores the ethical issues that may arise at the end of life. Beginning with a multidisciplinary exploration of the concept of the end of life, students will investigate a number of longstanding as well as emerging issues that confront individuals, families, professionals and societies. Students will consider the implications of making decisions in various domains at different stages of the end of life, as well as the potential role of families, friends, carers, health professionals, lawyers, other professionals and policy makers in such decision making.
The subject will focus in particular on the role and responsibilities of professionals working with people preparing for or at the end of their lives. Topics may include historical and cultural perspectives on mortality and the end of life; justice in the distribution of resources at the end of life; the concept of a "good death" and euthanasia; determination of death and deceased donation of organs and tissues; and end-of life care planning and decision-making.
The curriculum for this subject will engage with art as a medium for reflection on ethical issues. Throughout the subject, students will explore a number of artworks independently and with their peers in exercises designed to foster skills in observation, interpretation, and analysis as well emotional engagement.
- Ethics of Ageing 12.5
Ethics of Ageing
This subject provides an overview of some of the key ethical issues associated with ageing across the lifespan, with an emphasis on their societal dimensions and implications for policy and professional practice. The skills and knowledge gained by students completing this subject will enhance their ability to engage with the health, social and economic issues of ageing encountered throughout the Masters of Ageing curriculum.
Students will be introduced to bioethical theory and its application in analysis, evaluation and decision making. Martha Nussbaum's account of capabilities for human flourishing will be used to frame the exploration of a number of key issues organized within thematic units of "justice", "autonomy" and "dignity". A final unit will explore ethical issues pertaining to the human quest for "immortality".
Topics covered include diverse historical and cultural perspectives on common ethical issues of ageing; ethical principles for health professionals, care givers and institutions providing for the elderly; age as a criterion for health resource allocation; age-based discrimination and bias in clinical decision-making and employment; international and intergenerational obligations in the context of care giving; and life extension and suspension modalities such as fertility preservation, transplantation and cloning.
- Neuromusculoskeletal Radiology 12.5
This subject builds on student's knowledge in radiology, particularly as it applies to the neuro-musculo-skeletal system and conditions common to athletes of all ages and abilities (inclusive of adolescents, adult and senior athletes) in different sporting contexts. Students will develop advanced knowledge of anatomical structures and functions and use this knowledge to interpret radiological images. They will be able to explore normal and pathological findings as displayed by a variety of imaging modalities including x-ray, CT scans, MRI and US imaging. Students will understand terminology typically used for reporting radiology findings. They will have a better appreciation of when imaging is appropriate and which imaging modality is most appropriate for clinical decision-making in different contexts. They will understand how to communicate ethically and sensitively on the importance of radiological assessment to athletes, their carers, and other relevant persons (such as coaches) as appropriate and understand appropriate onward referral. A person–centred approach will be adopted in this subject, with an expectation that students will be sensitive and informed about the athlete’s experience in undergoing radiological investigations. Further, the students will have the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals, including experts to discuss evidence and innovations in the use of radiology in Sports Medicine and to build their understandings of best practice in the interest of the athlete/s.
- Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 12.5
This wholly online subject explores core theory and frameworks that underpin Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation in specific and diverse practice contexts. The subject will provide students with the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills that enable them to implement musculoskeletal assessment and management models in their practice context. Biomedicaland biopsychosocial paradigms are examined; alongside an emphasis on contemporary structure and function and developing movement and task analysis skills. With consideration of relevant services, systems & policies, these are applied to the clinical reasoning, decisions and evaluation of patient-centred musculoskeletal rehabilitation plans. There is an opportunity to select modules to allow flexibility for students to choose areas of musculoskeletal rehabilitation practice that best match their disciplinary interests or work context. These include hospital, community and sports & exercise contexts. Similarly, students will be given options to tailor case-examinations and assessment tasks according to their specific area of practice.
Following an introduction to musculoskeletal rehabilitation, movement analysis and exercise therapy, students can choose two from three modules that best meets their learning needs. In the relevant area of practice, each of these modules explores service models, strategic policies and practice standards that inform therapeutic interventions and features of comprehensive care in priority areas. These modules are:
- Hospital based musculoskeletal rehabilitation
- Musculoskeletal rehabilitation in the community
- Musculoskeletal rehabilitation for Sports & Exercise
Students will develop the skills to identify literature and clinical guidelines related to case management. It is envisaged that study within these modules will underpin case selection for the integration and application of evidence informed musculoskeletal rehabilitation practice, culminating in a case-presentation assessment task. On completion of this subject, students will demonstrate skills in developing and justifying an evidence-informed rehabilitation program for an individual with a neuro-musculoskeletal condition. There is structured opportunity for peer review of the rehabilitation program design, critical review of the context and reflection on practice.
- Rehabilitation in Global Health 12.5
Rehabilitation in Global Health
This subject is intended to provide practical insights into contemporary issues and solutions in strengthening and extending rehabilitation services. Students will have opportunities to compare rehabilitation services in a range of settings, through real and contemporary case studies from three main contexts: Humanitarian action in post conflict and emergency settings, post-conflict development settings, and in countries with newly advanced economic development.
Resources will include live interaction with current experts working in situations that provide interesting case studies for students. Students will be invited and encouraged to share their working experiences.
The subject will explore how supporting rehabilitation service development has shifted from a niche action linked to humanitarian crises, war and Victim’s Assistance obligation under international humanitarian law, to an investment in health systems that are responsive to changing health patterns. Using comparisons between different countries, emphasising the Asia and the Pacific, the subject will compare how rehabilitation services are provided in different settings. It will emphasise the multi-sectoral nature of rehabilitation, outlining the relationship between rehabilitation, disability, health and other sectors.
The course will explore the role of rehabilitation in emerging concepts of ‘inclusive health’ and universal health, including the limitations of current models and conceptualisations of rehabilitation. It will further explore the need and unmet need for rehabilitation. Drawing on current literature on global burden of disease, prevalence studies and similar, students will understand the evidence for an unmet need, as well as current limitations in the literature.
The subject will emphasise that rehabilitation is a rapidly changing sector. It will ultimately lead to an understanding of the future challenges for rehabilitation, emphasising priority areas for practice change, research and advocacy.
Following an introduction to foundational principles, students will complete two of three modules:
- Rehabilitation in changing economies: Drawing from real case studies of current approaches to rehabilitation, students will examine service delivery, policy and barriers to scale-up in countries with increasing population wealth, changing health patterns, and a booming private sector.
- Rehabilitation in humanitarian settings & emergencies: Students will examine and compare strategies for delivering rehabilitation in emergency and humanitarian settings. Drawing from new policy and an emerging evidence base, students will develop a proposal for action.
- Rehabilitation in development: Students will explore real-world projects and programs on rehabilitation services in low and middle income settings. Using emerging evidence and new policy frameworks, students will develop a proposal for action.
- Evaluation of Rehabilitation Practice 12.5
Evaluation of Rehabilitation Practice
This wholly online subject introduces students to the rapidly evolving field of evaluation in rehabilitation practice. The subject will provide students with the opportunity to develop skills related to the selection, application and interpretation of different evaluation designs and data collection methods for different types of rehabilitation and other health care services and interventions. The subject is divided into modules to allow flexibility for students to choose types of evaluation of practice that best match their interests or work context. Similarly, students will be given options within assessment tasks so that they can focus on the development of evaluation skills and resources that can be used in their clinical context.
All students will complete four modules within this subject.
A Foundational Module will be completed by all students and introduces the theoretical basis of evaluation in a health care context from the perspectives of a range of stakeholders including the consumer and disease advocacy groups, the clinician, program providers, compensatory bodies and legislators. A theoretical framework, based on the International Classification of Functioning (WHO), will be introduced as an evidenced based methodology for the selection and classification of evaluations used in rehabilitation settings. Students will learn to develop a logic model as a part of the planning of an evaluation project. They will discuss the design and prioritisation of evaluation questions. Students will also develop an understanding of barriers and enablers to evaluation in a general rehabilitation context and their own clinical context. This module also provides students with an opportunity to examine examples of how clinical evaluation has been successfully implemented in different rehabilitation contexts and successfully used for bench-marking and the improvement of the effectiveness or cost-efficiency of a rehabilitation service.
Students will then choose two from four modules that best meets their learning interests and/or practice needs. These modules are:
1. Person Stream. This stream will help extend a student’s understanding of how evaluation could be applied at the level of the person with a focus on outcome evaluation. In this stream, the evaluation designs that will be examined in more detail are quasi-experimental (one group pre- and post- test designs, non-equivalent group pre- and post- test designs and time series designs) and experimental (comparison group designs). Students will practice identifying and evaluating tools that could be used to collect patient reported outcome measures. This module will also introduce students to a methodology to evaluate the psychometric properties of a measurement tool that is of clinical interest or relevance to their work context. Students will learn the skills required to complete an analysis of a tool to identify if it is psychometrically sound. Concepts of validity, reliability, responsiveness, feasibility, clinical utility and interpretability will be examined.
2. Program Stream. This stream will extend a student’s understanding of how evaluation can be applied at the level of the organisation in a rehabilitation context, with a focus on a process evaluation approach. The evaluation design that will be examined in more detail in this stream is mixed-methods design. The methods of interest are focus groups and surveys.
3. Policy Stream. This stream is designed to extend a student’s understanding of how evaluation can be used in setting policy agendas, formulating and implementing policy, and comparing how existing or proposed policy aligns with evidence in the area.
4. Service Stream. This stream focuses on evaluation approaches and methods that could be used to evaluate a rehabilitation service. The lessons will look in detail at a decision and accountability approach to evaluation, when the evaluation purpose is to improve the product, program or service delivered to the consumer. Within this stream, students will explore audit and observation, two methods which could be used in a decision and accountability approach.
The final Integration module will be completed by all students and addresses the integration and application of evaluation back into the individual’s workplace context. The module is capped by an introduction to the legal and ethical considerations of evaluation including informed consent, professional competence, third party observers and ecological validity of the evaluation. Concepts related to culture, diversity and fairness in health care evaluation will also be identified and considered within the students’ own work context.