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Rehabilitation in the Acute Setting (REHB90004)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5Online

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeREHB90004
Term 4 - Online
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

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.

Intended learning outcomes

The curriculum is designed around three elements that provide both horizontal and vertical integration throughout the program. These elements are: rehabilitation theory and practice, evidence and innovation and clinical practice in context.

Rehabilitation Theory and Practice:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the impact of post intensive care syndrome and physiological factors which need to be evaluated to determine the appropriateness to commence rehabilitation
2. Apply knowledge of pathophysiology and anatomy to justify assessment techniques and propose an appropriate and safe physiotherapy management plan for patients who are critically unwell
3. Propose and justify safe and effective physiotherapy interventions to manage patients who are critically unwell
4. Explain and justify the choice of appropriate outcome measures to evaluate the efficacy of rehabilitation interventions provided

Evidence and Innovation
5. Identify, critically appraise and evaluate the current research knowledge in relation to rehabilitation and outcome measurement in the management of the critically unwell
6. Investigate and evaluate new technologies and innovations which can be utilised to enable rehabilitation and measurement of efficacy in individuals who are critically unwell

Clinical Practice in Context
7. Recognise and respond to personal, cultural and environmental factors that can influence the ability to undertake rehabilitation in the ICU setting
8. Reflect on the principles of clinical decision making and integrate knowledge of pathophysiology, anatomy and assessment to individualise rehabilitation within the ICU setting

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students will have had the opportunity to develop the skills associated with:

  • Applying knowledge and reasoning skills to complex problems in a range of contexts
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Inquiry and creative solutions to challenges in their practice context
  • Awareness of and appropriate responsiveness to the social and cultural diversity in their practice and ensuring cultural safety for rehabilitation consumers and workers from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  • Self-assurance and confidence in their knowledge, yet flexible, adaptable and aware of their limitations

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Graduate level knowledge of the health care system and professional role consistent with a bachelor program in a health care science. Students enrolling in this subject are highly recommended to be working within the intensive care setting.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


  • Reflective portfolio part 2
  • 750 words
Week 810%
  • Written assignment
  • 2000 words
Week 950%
  • Online quiz
  • 1000 words
Week 320%
  • Contribution to online discussions
Throughout the semester10%
  • Reflective portfolio part 1
  • 750 words
Week 510%


Contribution to online discussions, throughout the term, 10%

Online quiz (1000 words equivalent) week 3, 20%

Reflective portfolio, part 1, 750 words, week 5, 10%

Reflective portfolio, part 2, 750 words, week 8, 10%

Written assignment, 2000 words, week 9, 50%

Dates & times

  • Term 4 - Online
    Mode of deliveryOnline
    Contact hoursWholly online subject
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Pre teaching start date 7 October 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents will familiarise themselves with the online platform which will provide an overview of the subject, assessment requirements and expected activities and behaviours. They will also be provided with information about studying online and informed about the University resources available to them.
    Teaching period14 October 2019 to 8 December 2019
    Last self-enrol date 8 October 2019
    Census date 1 November 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail22 November 2019
    Assessment period ends15 December 2019

    Term 4 contact information

    Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education Email: continuing-education@unimelb.edu.au Phone: + 61 3 8344 0149 Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm AEST/AEDT. Weekends and University of Melbourne observed Public Holidays 10am to 5pm AEST/AEDT.

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Students will have access to electronic copies of prescribed readings.

    The following texts are also essential for this subject.
    Stevens RD, Hart N, Herridge (2014): Textbook of Post-ICU Medicine: The legacy of critical care
    Bersten AD and Soni N (2013): Oh’s Intensive Care Manual 7th Edition. Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 19 July 2019