REHA 7018 Physiotherapy for Chronic Illness and Disease

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401048

Coordinator Genevieve Dwyer Opens in new window

Description From 2018 students should take 401107 - Physiotherapy for Chronic Illness and Disease. This subject focuses on the role of physiotherapy in chronic disease management. A case-based learning approach will be undertaken to provide students with the theory, research and practice which underpins the assessment and treatment of people with chronic disease. The role of lifestyle factors in the development of chronic disease will be explored, along with health promotion and preventative strategies. The importance of client-centred care, which respects culture and diversity, and the multidisciplinary team approach will also be investigated in the context of frequently occurring chronic conditions.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Physiotherapy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) REHA 3009

Co-requisite(s) REHA 7001 OR
REHA 7002 OR
REHA 7003 OR
REHA 7004


Students must be enrolled in 4662 Bachelor of Health Science/Master of Physiotherapy, 4667 Master of Physiotherapy or 4668 Bachelor of Health Science (Honours)/Master of Physiotherapy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Synthesise evidence to explain how lifestyle and/or psychosocial factors can influence the development and continuation of chronic illness or disease.
  2. Justify the role of physiotherapy in the prevention and/or management of chronic illness or disease.
  3. Critically reflect on the contributions of a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary team in the management of individuals with chronic illness or disease.
  4. Solve relevant complex clinical problems accessing appropriate resources and using a process of sound clinical reasoning.
  5. Research and determine a client-centred approach in the design of a physiotherapy management plan for the management of chronic illness or disease.

Subject Content

1. Prevalence of chronic illness and disease in Australia and internationally and relevance to physiotherapy
2. Role of physical activity in promoting healthy lifestyles and quality of life across the lifespan for those living with chronic disease, illness or disability
3. Living with chronic illness or disease from the perspective of the patient
4. Goal setting and optimising compliance to effect positive behavioural change and/or maximise quality of life
5. Opportunities for physiotherapists to assist in the prevention and management of chronic disease
6. Role of community physiotherapy within a multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary team approach to management of chronic disease
7. Palliative care: supporting patients in the last phase of life
8. Students will cover some key chronic disease areas via seminar topics. The theme of the seminar topics is promoting healthy lifestyles to optimise quality of life throughout the lifespan.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Group seminar 25 mins 30 N Individual
Structured critical analysis and reflection of clinical reasoning related to patient seen during clinical site visit or to case scenario presented in class. 1500 words 30 N Individual
Chronic disease clinical unit case study reflection workbook 1800 words 40 N Individual

Structures that include subject