Is Bobath-based therapy used by physiotherapists in the care of stroke patients?

Authors Nico L.U. Meeteren, Maria H.F. Grypdonck, Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir
Published in Advances in Physiotherapy
Publication date 2005
Type Article


The aim of this study was to investigate if physiotherapists had knowledge and skills in applying Bobath-based therapy (BB), also referred to as Neurodevelopmental Treatment, in the care of stroke patients and if they generally used the therapy in daily practice. This is because of the important emphasis placed on documenting the extent of the therapy given to the client groups compared in outcome studies measuring the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. The study took place as an intervention check for a large outcome study measuring the effects of BB therapy. BB therapy had been implemented on six wards, whereas six other wards did not use this approach. The physiotherapist’s (n /38) knowledge and skills in making decisions about applying the BB principles in all wards was measured in two steps. In step 1, the physiotherapists received a questionnaire focusing on their physiotherapy strategy, and Bobath education. In step 2, they received a case vignette describing a stroke patient and questions concerning the content of the physiotherapy provided to this patient. An expert panel judged the therapists’ responses to the questions of both steps. Of the physiotherapists working in the BB wards, 14 (74%) therapists generally used BB principles, whereas four (21%) therapists did not (one was uncertain). Of the physiotherapists working in the non-BB wards (n /19), three (16%) did use BB therapy whereas 10 (52%) therapists did not use the therapy (six responses were missing). The study showed that within the BB wards, the physiotherapists had followed sufficient BB education, as judged by a panel of experts, and demonstrated the knowledge and skills in applying the BB therapy, whereas in the other wards they did not. BB wards could therefore participate in the experimental group of the study measuring the effects of the Bobath therapy, and the non-BB wards could serve as proper control wards.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Advances in Physiotherapy
Key words Bobath, Cerebrovascular accident CVA, Fysiotherapie, Revalidatie
Page range 176-182

Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir

Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir PhD | Researcher | Research group Chronic Diseases

Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Proactive care for older people living at home