The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


An introduction to physiotherapy knowledge and clinical skills for the evaluation and management of selected basic neurological disorders across the lifespan. The course includes preliminary studies in symptomatology; assessment procedures to define impairments and limitations in activity and participation; relevant clinical reasoning processes; and management skills and techniques.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply biomedical and behavioural scientific knowledge to the physiotherapy evaluation and management of basic neurological disorders across the lifespan;

2. Describe the aetiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical presentation of stroke patients, with particular emphasis on motor and sensory problems;

3. Conduct an appropriate basic examination of the neurological system in adults, including history and physical examination;

4. Appropriately select, modify as necessary, and correctly demonstrate basic measurement and testing procedures commonly used in assessing neurological dysfunction;

5. Understand and apply basic clinical reasoning skills and an evidence-based approach to decision making in neurological physiotherapy practice;

6. Understand the medical and team management of selected common simple neurological disorders across the lifespan;

7. Appropriately select, modify as necessary, and correctly demonstrate basic physiotherapeutic treatment procedures commonly used in the management of neurological dysfunction;

8. Apply basic treatment evaluation and intervention outcome processes appropriate for neurological physiotherapy practice;

9. Discuss relevant lifespan, gender, cultural, legal and ethical considerations in performing basic neurological physiotherapy evaluation and management procedures;

10. Begin to appreciate the role of the client, carers and other health care professionals in the holistic management of neurological patients;

11. Effectively develop and appropriately present a critical discussion in written format


  • Neuroanatomical localisation of cerebral and brainstem lesions; symptomatology, especially motor/sensory changes following vascular lesions and brain damage
  • Clinical reasoning in neurological physiotherapy practice; reasoning skills needed for interpreting the clinical examination of neurological patients and collaboratively planning their management
  • Information gathering/history taking for patients presenting with neurological disorders
  • Examination principles and procedures commonly used in assessing neurological disorders across the lifespan
  • Outcome measures for neurological disorders including reliability, validity and responsiveness
  • Stroke: aetiology, pathology, symptomatology and basic medical and surgical management, including radiological investigations
  • Historical development of neurological physiotherapy practice
  • Current principles of neurological rehabilitation practice; biological basis and empirical evidence for physiotherapy interventions
  • Physiotherapeutic management of stroke patients, including motor, sensory, perceptual and behavioural/cognitive deficits
  • Optimization of motor performance following neurological disorders; skills in training motor/sensory deficits in all functional activities following stroke
  • Alternate approaches to the management of neurological disorders inlcuding PNF and Bobaath
  •  Methods of maximizing rehabilitation intensity, volume and specificity including exercise prescription and group programs
  • The principles and importance of primary and secondary stroke prevention and the role of physiotherapy in health promotion
  • The psychological impact of stroke on patients and their significant others and strategies to manage these effects
  • Availability of services in the community for stroke clients and their integration into society
  • Role of other health professionals in team management of neurological patients across the lifespan, including team decision making


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) program 12337. Students must have successfully completed PHTY1020, HUBS1105, HUBS2103.

Assumed knowledge

HLSC1000, PHTY1020, HUBS1403, HUBS1404, HUBS1105, HUBS2103, HUBS2505

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Formal Exam

In Term Test: Prac Viva examinations *

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • In Term Test: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term