PTY5101 - Advancing skills in paediatric physiotherapy: Cerebral palsy - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Physiotherapy


Dr. Adrienne Harvey

Unit guides




This unit will cover components of physiotherapy assessment and management options for children with cerebral palsy who present to physiotherapists. Aetiology and epidemiology of cerebral palsy, and the physiotherapy role in evaluation and management of children with this condition are described. An emphasis on establishing competence and confidence to work autonomously whilst identifying limits to own practice is stressed. Learning will be experienced in the online classroom environment with a single face to face day at the conclusion of the unit. A selection of case studies drawn from the acute, subacute and community settings will be used to explore learning outcomes.


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

  1. Describe relevant embryology in regards to the timing of cerebral insults that result in a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and an understanding of common risk factors leading to the diagnosis
  2. Identify and select appropriate outcome measures for children with cerebral palsy across the age span using the ICF model
  3. Identify and describe the principles of physiotherapy management in cerebral palsy
  4. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of burst versus ongoing therapy prescription across childhood in cerebral palsy within a multidisciplinary framework
  5. Summarise the complexity in equipment prescription in cerebral palsy across the life span
  6. Synthesise the complexities around transition from paediatric to adult services in adolescents with cerebral palsy using a multidisciplinary framework
  7. Demonstrate sensitive and appropriate communication at all times when working with children, their parents/carers
  8. Demonstrate appropriate and professional communication with other health care professionals, both internal and external to their own health care setting.


  • Online quizzes x 4 (Summative) (35%)
  • Online exam (MCQ and short answers) (1 hour) (Summative) (20%)
  • Clinical Guideline activity (1,000 words) (Summative) (15%)
  • Guided paediatric case study (2,000 words) (Summative) (30%)
  • Attendance requirement (Face to face day, available also via video footage) (Hurdle)
  • Contribution to 4 x discussion boards (One per module, as per unit guide) (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

Approximately 12 hours per week of interaction with online lectures and course material, completion of online assessment tasks and participation in online communications with other students and tutor (online delivery only, block mode), plus self-directed study time. An additional 8 hours of face to face day attendance or video footage viewing required.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Paediatric physiotherapy


Must be enrolled in course M60013.