Health and Rehab SciWestern Health Sciences

Rehabilitation Sciences

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The field of Rehabilitation Sciences within the Graduate Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences derives its framework from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). Includes and integrates multiple areas of knowledge inherent to the ICF model and relative to health and illness; specifically, scholarly work will address interactions between impairments of:

Field Goals

  1. Educate students to contribute to the advancement of research and scholarship in Rehabilitation Sciences.

  2. Provide society with graduates qualified to function in a variety of roles. These could include: academic scholars and researchers, advanced scientists-practitioners in health care highly qualified researchers in private industry, and expert research consultants to government ministries.

Field Requirements

Students must complete three mandatory half-credit courses:

Methods Course

MSc Courses

HS 9601a - Quantitative Methods in Health Sciences - 0.5 credit
*HS 9515 (statistics) is strongly recommended as a precursor to this course.
This course covers three general topics: measurement, hypothesis testing and research design, and the role of research evidence in clinical practice. Although formulas are presented and calculationsare performed, the principal orientation of the course is conceptual rather than mathematical.

HS 9602a - Qualitative Research Methods in Health Sciences - 0.5 credit
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the qualitative paradigm and its current and potential applications in health and rehabilitation sciences. The philosophical assumptions that form an integral part of the qualitative paradigm will be examined, as will the assumptions underlying various qualitative schools of inquiry (e.g., grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, action research, narrative). Key considerations in the critical evaluation and design of qualitative studies within several schools of inquiry relevant to health and rehabilitation sciences will be addressed. Students will have opportunities to engage in critical analysis of qualitative research; discuss ethical issues related to the conduct of qualitative research; and engage in the process of proposal development within a group.

PhD Courses

HS 9707a - Linear Regression for Health & Rehabilitation Sciences - 0.5 credit
*HS 9601 is recommended as a precursor to this course

This course is an introduction to linear regression for health sciences, examining simple regression, multiple regression, the use of categorical independent variables, and the fitting of interaction terms. Although formulas are given and calculations are presented, the principal orientation of the course is conceptual rather than mathematical.

HS 9708 - Advanced Topics in Qualitative Research - 0.5 credit
*HS 9602 is recommended as a precursor to this course

This course will give learners the opportunity to learn how to rigorously and systematically analyse qualitative data in the form of interview transcripts from a study on women's experience of aging and osteoporosis. The course will begin with a review of the three key qualitative approaches or research designs used in the health sciences (grounded theory, qualitative case study and phenomenology). Next, we will highlight how the approaches are shaped by specific research paradigms (post-positivism, interpretivism/constructivism or critical theory).

HS 9709b - ANOVA-based Methods of Data Analysis - 0.5 credit
*HS 9601 is recommended as a precursor to this course

This course will explore ANOVA based methods of data analysis, including t test, ANOVA, ANCOVA, Split-plot ANOVA, Factorial ANOVA, and MANOVA.

HS 9730b - Philosophical Foundations of Qualitative Research - 0.5 credit
*HS 9602 is recommended as a precursor to this course

This course provides an introduction to philosophical foundations of qualitative research with a particular focus on interpretive and critical paradigms of inquiry. Assumptions about what constitutes knowledge (epistemology), the nature of existence (ontology), and means for gaining knowledge (methodology) within different knowledge paradigms are considered. Students examine philosophical and theoretical perspectives that underpin various schools to qualitative inquiry and identify perspectives relevant to the coherent and rigorous design of research. Within this course, students explore perspectives that relate to their own research interests; expand their familiarity with the specialized terminology adopted in qualitative research; consider approaches to representing, writing and publishing qualitative research; and investigate implications for the design and evaluation of qualitative research in health and social care. This course is highly recommended for doctoral level students completing a qualitative research dissertation, and is open to highly motivated Masters level students wishing to deepen their research knowledge.

HS 9788 - Advanced Quantitative - 0.5 credit
This course is designed to provide participants with solid foundation of clinical research methods including study design and critical appraisal of studies evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention (randomized trials and observational studies), diagnostic test accuracy, identification of risk factors for disease development or prognostic factors for disease outcomes, and systematic reviews with meta-analysis.

Field Based Course or Equivalent

HS 9650 - International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
This course privides the student with the conceptual model of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) and instruction pertaining to the taxonomy that evolves from this model. This course introduces students to the common language and concepts of this interdisciplinary program.

HS 96500 - Measurement and Analysis in Health Sciences 
This course is an intermediate level examination of measurement and analysis in health and rehabilitation research. Extensive use is made of multiple regression as a general and flexible method of data analysis.

HS 9752 - Philosophical Foundations of Rehabilitation Sciences
Rehabilitaton as a professional activity has existed for over three quarters of the century; rehabilitaiton as a focus of scientific study is quite recent. Thus, this course is intended to lay the philosophy and historical foundation for the study of rehabilitation as a science. The course first considers what rehabilitation is relative to functioning and disability. Then the question 'what is science?' is addressed by examining fundamental topics such as logical positivism, post positivist views of science, criteria for explanation and evidence, the unity/disunity of science, as well as objectivity/subjectivity. Finaly students consider the question of whether rehabilitation science is indeed a science.

HS 9702 and HS 9704 - Measurement and Methods Long Rounds
Students may choose four modules from among multiple offerings in both qualitative and quantitative methods topics. Individual topics are offered over a three week period. Please refer to the course descrption under the Measurement and Methods field for specific topic descriptions.

Elective (Recommended by Advisory Committee)

HRS course electives include:

  • HS 9623 - Perspectives in Knowledge Translation
  • HS 9632 - Current Topics in Child & Youth Health
  • HS 9801 - Motor Control

Course electives offered by other programs:

  • Nursing 9685 - Policy Development & Analysis I

As necessary, students may need to take the courses listed below as pre- or co-requisite courses.

HS 9515a - Introduction to Statistics for Health & Rehabilitation Sciences - 0.5 credit
This is an introductory statistics course for students entering the Graduate Program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. It includes data presentation and normalization, types of variables and levels of measurement, descriptive statistics, and hypothesis testing using both nonparametric and parametric procedures. This course is designed to introduce techniques used to analyze quantitative data used in health-related research and allied fields. Emphasis will be placed on the basic concepts of quantitative analysis including an introduction to multivariate analysis, and the use of statistical software.

HS 9516a - Introduction to Research Methods Health & Rehabilitation - 0.5 credit
This course addresses foundational knowledge and skills contributing to the development of students as early researchers. In this course, students will explore the philosophical assumptions underlying qualitative and quantitative methodologies, develop an appreciation of the potential contributions of various types of research, and reflect on their own assumptions and values regarding what they view as credible knowledge and ways of knowing. Students will discuss essential research elements, ethical principles and quality criteria relevant to qualitative and quantitative methodologies and designs, and will begin to develop critical appraisal skills.

Students must attend and participate in Seminar Milestones:

HRS Common Seminar

1 year

Several seminars are open to all faculty and students in the HRS program, and are regularly scheduled thorough the academic year. Announcements about the speaker and specific topics addressed in each seminar will be provided via e-mails (Amber Trent) and posted on the HRS seminar board. Topics and format of these seminars may vary. A student may be required to attend one or more of these seminar series depending on their field and/or based on the recommendations of their advisory committee.

The Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (HRS) Common Seminar is a required program milestone. MSc and PhD students must attend regularly the seminar in their first year of enrolment in the HRS Program. The seminar is intended to provide a forum for scholarly interactions among students registered in the various fields comprising the HRS program. In addition, the seminar is designed and will be run to foster the development of research skills necessary for graduate school success.

Participation in Field Based Seminar

HS 9500 - Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Seminar Series
This is a common seminar series for all students in the health and rehabilitation sciences Graduate Program.

HS 9651 - Seminar in Rehabilitation Sciences
This seminar series will expose students to contemporary theory and methodology in Rehabilitation Sciences. The course will cover the conceptual bases of impairments of body structure and function, activity limitations, and restrictions in social participation as per the ICF within the context of health, illness and disability. The seminar also will include presentations of ongoing research by Graduate Faculty affiliated with the field, as well as visiting scholars, and graduate students. This course will include both MSc and PhD students and, therefore, will permit the presentation of research proposals and current research findings within the framework of the field. We also have an informal component to this seminar series, the content of which is flexible to meet the needs and interests of the cohort of participating students. Master's students are required to attend in their first year od the program and encouraged to continue to participate in their second year. Doctoral students are required to participate in the first three years of their program and encouraged to participate in their fourth year.

All PhD students must pass a formal comprehensive examination as a requirement of the PhD degree:

Candidacy Examination (PhD Requirement)

The exam consists of a written paper of publishable quality in peer-reviewed manuscript or book chapter format.

The purpose of the candidacy examination is to:

  • Demonstrate scholarly writing
  • Demonstrate a critical synthesis of theory and literature
  • Situate the student’s planned research within the field, including theory, research literature, and research methods

This paper will be evaluated by the Candidacy Examination Committee: the student’s supervisor, and two other individuals.  Normally, all 3 examiners will have PhD-Level Training, and will have graduate membership in SGPS.  Other individuals who may be external to the field, program, or university, can act as examiners as long as s/he is approved by the Health & Rehabilitation Sciences program.

The exam must be completed successfully in order for students to begin the thesis phase. The Procedure, planning form, and evaluation form can be found on the HRS Program OWL web-site.