Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Occupational Therapy
OfferedPeninsula Term 2 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Louise Farnworth


In this unit students will begin to describe, apply and critique the principles of assessment and intervention for clients with problems related to capacities to engage in activities, occupations, and participation in community life. Case-based scenarios will relate to people across the lifespan. Intervention principles will also incorporate environmental supports and barriers (advocacy, organisational change, environmental adaptation), and evidence-based practice. This unit also provides knowledge and skills necessary to understand different research methodologies, critique and evaluate the usefulness and quality of research evidence that supports evidence-based practice. Students will be guided through the process of how to ask clinically relevant questions, search for evidence, and critically appraise published research. Students will undertake practice-based learning for 2 days per week throughout the term (135 hours). The focus of fieldwork is on the development of core occupational therapy skills and students are required to demonstrate skills in data gathering, intervention/program planning, implementation and evaluation, recording and reporting and practice these skills in a sensitive, ethical and professional manner.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate skills in self-assessment and the provision of constructive feedback to others.
  2. Describe typical occupational therapy theories, intervention strategies, methods and modalities used with clients of occupational therapy presenting with physical, mental/psychosocial, cognitive, social and other related occupational performance challenges.
  3. Apply principles of client-centred practice, activity and occupational analysis, grading and adapting equipment, tasks, activities and environments, and energy conservation to enhance occupational participation and performance with clients.
  4. Describe common musculoskeletal, medical, surgical, neurological, mental/psychosocial disease processes relevant to clients of occupational therapy and their occupational sequelae.
  5. Evaluate a home/office for home/workplace modifications, use technical drawing techniques and write recommendations for home/workplace modification professionals and describe the role of external agencies (e.g. Archicentre, TADVIC and the SWEP) and use of Australian Standards in home modification.
  6. Demonstrate the use and principles of orthotic fabrication using low temperature thermoplastic materials and justify design, manufacture and application of a specific orthosis.
  7. Select, measure, prescribe and use appropriate assistive equipment to enable client occupational participation and performance (e.g. mobility equipment, lifting devices/hoists, pressure care equipment and communication devices).
  8. Describe different quantitative and quantitative research methods and methodologies, and critique research strategies relevant to occupational therapy practice.
  9. Describe ethical research issues and practices.
  10. Describe and demonstrate how to apply the principles of evidence-based practice using best evidence available for practice.


Fieldwork (Placement weeks 1-9) - up to 12 hours per week. Fieldwork will require students to travel to fieldwork locations. These may be near or away from the campus.


Critically evaluate splint (1,000 words) (10%)
Home modifications and SWEP application (1,000 words) (10%)
Office/workplace assessment (1,500 words) (10%)
Short answer examination (2 x 1 hour) (15%)
Written exam (1 hour) and oral exam (30 minutes) including discussant of two peers (25%)
Critically appraised paper: quantitative or qualitative research (1,200 words) (10%)
Written exam (multiple choice and short answer; 1.5 hours) (20%)

Hurdle requirement:
Successful completion of fieldwork including attendance at fieldwork briefing; submission of (i) a completed and signed Student Placement Evaluation Form - Revised (SPEF-R) (ii) signed timesheet and (iii) Student Review of Placement form; and (iv) reflective journal.
Attendance at 100% of scenario based tutorials, practical skills sessions and seminars, unless a medical certificate is provided.
Completion of weekly online quizzes.

Workload requirements

This unit will run for 9 weeks of academic/fieldwork followed by one week Swot Vac, one week of exams and one week vacation. As this is an accelerated program, the workload demands are more than would be expected of an undergraduate 12 CP unit as it is run over 9 rather than 12 weeks.
PBL Tutorials - 4 hours per week (on campus)
Lectures - 4 hours per week (online)
Practicals - 4 hours per week (on campus)
Fieldwork (Placement weeks 1-9) - up to 12 hours per week
Private study - 12 hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study