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The OPTIMAL Theory

Online Course: The OPTIMAL Theory

Promote self-efficacy, autonomy, expectancies, and attention to enhance motor learning in your patients

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Course instructor:

Teresa Bisson

Dr Bisson is an Assistant Professor and a board-certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy

1-1.5 hours

Summarising the latest research & evidence

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When incorporating motor learning principles into clinical practice, physiotherapists create practice schedules and provide appropriate feedback in order to enhance learning. While these factors can have a significant impact on learning, current theories of motor learning have not considered the role that motivation and attention can play in skill acquisition. Gabriele Wulf and Rebecca Lewthwaite, therefore, developed the OPTIMAL Theory of Motor Learning to explore ways of harnessing a patient's motivation. In this course, Teresa Bisson introduces this theory and explores how it can be incorporated into physiotherapy practice. This course follows on the Motor Learning - Back to the Basics course.


The aim of this course is to introduce the three major components of the OPTIMAL Theory and to explore how each aspect can be incorporated into physiotherapy interventions to improve performance and learning.


This course is made up of videos, reading, discussions and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Video
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.

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