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This subject provides the opportunity for students to further advance their knowledge and clinical competency in the area of women's health physiotherapy. It exposes students to advanced theoretical knowledge and skills required of physiotherapists working as primary contact practitioners in women's health clinical practice, with the focus on musculoskeletal disorders.
This subject covers theory and management of musculoskeletal conditions affecting women throughout the lifespan. Topics include conditions that affect women in their child-bearing years: pelvic girdle pain, thoracic and low back pain, coccydinia, abdominal and pelvic floor muscle weakness, breast conditions, myalgias, gestational diabetes mellitus; conditions that affect women in their older years: osteoporosis, gynaecological and breast oncology, and lymphoedema. Other topics include pelvic pain and conditions affecting female athletes. Sound clinical assessment with a strong emphasis on clinical reasoning, differential diagnosis and effective evidence-based physiotherapy management will be covered.
Intended learning outcomes
The subject aims to provide:
- a greater understanding of the role and responsibilities of physiotherapists as first contact practitioners in the field of women's health
- advanced theoretical knowledge of the musculoskeletal conditions that present specifically in pregnancy, parturition and menopause
- the ability to perform an appropriate musculoskeletal examination of female patients, with due cognisance of the anatomical, physiological, gender, and cultural issues that present in women at various life-stages
- clinical competence in selecting and applying evidence-based physiotherapy treatment and mamanagement skills, specific to the presenting woman and disorder; and
- the ability to refer for appropriate investigations and to other relevant health providers when required.
On completion of the subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:
- a capacity for self-directed learning and the motivation for life-long independent learning.
- well-developed problem solving abilities, with flexibility of approach.
- an advanced level of oral and written communication at the graduate level. The ability to understand and articulate complex situations. An appreciation of the team approach to learning in complex areas.
- an advanced understanding of professional responsibility and ethical principles in relation to individuals and community.
Last updated: 31 July 2020