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Disabil Rehabil. 2015;37(21):1909-28. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2014.987880. Epub 2015 Jul 9.

The Bobath (NDT) concept in adult neurological rehabilitation: what is the state of the knowledge? A scoping review. Part II: intervention studies perspectives.

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a Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science , University of Toronto , Toronto , Canada and.



The study's purpose was to describe the range of knowledge pertaining to the Bobath (NDT) concept in adult neurological rehabilitation, synthesizes the findings, identify knowledge gaps and develop empirically based recommendations for future research.


A scoping review of research and non-research articles published from 2007 to 2012. Two independent reviewers selected studies based on a systematic procedure. Inclusion criteria for studies were electronically accessible English language literature with Bobath and/or Neurodevelopmental Therapy as the subject heading in the title/keyword/abstract/intervention comparison with respect to adult neurological conditions. Data were abstracted and summarized with respect to study design, theoretical framework, clinical application including population representation, study fidelity, intervention comparison, duration of care, measurement and findings.


Of the 33 publications identified 17 were intervention studies (11 RCT's/1 prospective parallel group design/5‚ÄČN-of-1). One other paper was a systematic review.


The intervention studies, primarily RCT designs, have serious methodological concerns particularly related to study/treatment fidelity and measurement resulting in no clear clinical direction. Aspects such as theoretical framework, therapist skill, quality of movement measurement and individualized interventions require careful consideration in the design of Bobath studies. Implications for Rehabilitation Future intervention studies should be based on the current Bobath theoretical framework and key aspects of clinical practice. Study and treatment fidelity issues need to be carefully considered when interpreting the results of existing RCT's evaluating the Bobath concept. N-of-1 randomized, observational, factorial and mixed method study designs should be considered as alternative study options.


Adults; Bobath; neuro-developmental treatment

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