Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

PSIO1028 Clinical Assessment and Treatment

Module Overview

This module builds on learning outcomes achieved from Human Movement and Function, and develops your ability to apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology into a physiotherapy assessment. You will be taught the principles of a physiotherapy assessment to gather both subjective and objective information, ensuring a holistic assessment process (biological, psychological and social factors). Your learning will be facilitated by cases for simple musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory and neurological conditions. You will also learn about treatment options, with a focus on advice, activity participation and exercise to manage a range of different conditions. The module will provide the foundation of a safe and efficient assessment process for clinical practice and will provide the means for you to translate this knowledge into the first clinical placement. As far as possible, service users (patients) will contribute to your learning, through demonstration of assessment and treatment techniques, and/or by discussing their lived experiences of their condition.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of human anatomy and physiology in the context of cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological assessment related to simple case studies.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognise the ethical and moral dimensions of physiotherapy, including issues related to informed consent including explanation of assessment options, confirming patient understanding and patient choice.
  • Explain how information is systematically used to form an initial hypothesis, a problem list, treatment plan and realistic goals in partnership with patients
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills as part of the assessment process to gain the relevant physical, psychological, social and cultural information pertinent for the patients’ presentation.
  • Demonstrate a systematic appropriate physical assessment for patients with simple musculoskeletal, neurological and cardiorespiratory conditions.
  • Demonstrate safe and effective physiotherapy management techniques including patient handling, for simple cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, neurological case studies.


Effective clinical reasoning skills are fundamental to physiotherapists' clinical practice. This module will introduce students to a model of clinical reasoning to enable novice physiotherapy students to work logically through an assessment process. The process enables them to gather the appropriate and pertinent data and make some sense of it to form a provisional diagnosis, problem list and treatment plan applicable to a patient with a simple neuromusculoskeletal, neurological or cardiorespiratory problem. The module will include: - The purpose of assessment in physiotherapy - Patient interview (subjective) – to include severity, irritability and nature of problems that patients may present with; special medical questions to be asked of patients and the setting of patient centred short-term/long-term treatment goals. - Physical examination (objective) – either to an individual body part assessment (peripheral - including observation, as well as palpation of specific passive accessory and physiological movements, the concepts of end-feel and joint resistance, and static muscle testing of the upper and lower limbs) or appropriate simple neurological or cardio-respiratory examination

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures will be used to introduce the scientific principles and theoretical base of the assessment techniques covered and deliver the key information about clinical reasoning. Case studies will be used to develop the students' ability to analyse the information presented to decide and formulate an appropriate assessment strategy for the case study. Within the sessions small group work, using the case studies as a base, and subsequent plenary discussions and mind mapping will be used to develop the students ability to explore key concepts further. Lectures and group sessions will be followed by practical sessions to develop competency in the safe and effective use of assessment techniques and manual handling procedures. The practical will include demonstrations and links will be made to clinical scenarios. Students will be given directed tasks on pathologies related to the cases and guidance to facilitate further self-directed learning. Students will be expected to present such topics for discussion amongst their peers. E-learning - The unit is supported by Blackboard 6. This can be accessed at . Video streaming demonstrations of neuromusculoskeletal assessment and treatment techniques are available through the blackboard site.

Independent Study150
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

Stokes M Stack E (2013).  Physical Management for Neurological Conditions. 

Carr J & Shepherd R (2010). Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimizing motor performance. 

Shumway-Cook A and Woollacott MH (2012). Motor control : translating research into clinical practice. 

Broad M.A, Quint.M, Thomas.S., Twose. P (2012). Cardiorespiratory Assessment of the Adult patient A clinicians guide. 

Stokes M Stack E (2013). Physical Management for Neurological Conditions.

Gillian Mead, Frederike van Wijck (2012). Exercise and Fitness Training After Stroke. 

Jones K. (2014). Neurological Assessment. 

Elly Hengeveld MSc BPT OMT SVOMP (Editor), Kevin Banks BA MCSP SRP (2013). Maitland's Vertebral Manipulation: Management of Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders. 

Sheila Lennon, Geert Verheyden, Gita Ramdharry (2018). Neurological Physiotherapy Pocketbook. 

Sue Raine, Linzi Meadows, Mary Lynch-Ellerington (2009). Bobath Concept: Theory and Clinical Practice in Neurological Rehabilitation. 

Delva Shamely (2005). Pathophysiology an Essential text for the Allied Health Professions. 

Elly Hengeveld MSc BPT OMT SVOMP (Author), Kevin Banks BA MCSP SRP (2013). Maitland's Peripheral Manipulation. 



Objective Structured Clinical Examination


MethodPercentage contribution
Objective Structured Clinical Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Objective Structured Clinical Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no additional costs associated with the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings