PETRHA, a european project for physiotherapists

19 June 2017

The PETRHA project for Physiotherapy E-Training Rehabilitation, funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program, was created with the aim of developing a serious game for physiotherapy students.

This project, initiated and led by the IRFSS Aquitaine Red Cross training unit, is to last 2 years and involves participation from 3 European countries (France, Spain and Portugal) and 4 other partners, including SimforHealth.

This project, which won out of 10 finalists from 63 competing projects, is a chance for SimforHealth to offer innovative healthcare professional training solutions for the benefit of a major public health issue and to use its expertise to assist a European project.

This serious game is special in that it will evolve beyond the end of the project, with the subsequent creation of a MOOC and study booklet.

Initially, this serious game will be developed around a specific theme : rehabilitation procedures for the elderly. This section of society represents more than 20% of the European population, meaning that enabling these patients to live independently at home is a major public health challenge.

Students must solve real situations presented as clinical cases created by trainers:

  • Data collection stage (interview, patient file, tests, clinical examination),
  • Establishing a physiotherapeutic diagnosis stage,
  • Identifying therapeutic objectives stage.

When playing, each student has a set number of actions to carry out and must complete the 3 stages in a certain amount of time.
Their final score will be calculated according to these elements and the suitability of the choices made throughout the game.

Within the context of the PETRHA project, this serious game is being developed to improve patients’ wellbeing and the quality of their care. Thanks to this simulation, students will be better trained and prepared to provide the appropriate care for this key part of the population.

This serious game aims to develop students’ clinical reasoning through physiotherapy clinical cases and to create a universal language among physiotherapists in different countries.

A few weeks ago, through this program, a summer class was held in Tudela at the UPNA (Navarre Public University) in Spain. The main aim of this summer class was to carry out alpha testing of the Petrha program in order to:

  • Assess students’ interest in the serious game
  • Make final adjustments to the program, if necessary
  • Carry out tests with final users with no particular technological knowledge, who will be the users of this serious game.

5 days of intensive work, exchange and discussion have highlighted the first elements to be modified for an uninitiated audience. The results of this summer class are still being studied.


From october 13 to october 15 2017, for the first time, european students will compete on PETRHA, the serious game designed for them.

To join in, click here.

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