Bobath Concept

This treatment approach is used by the majority of neurological therapists in the UK and many other therapists around the world. All of the physiotherapists in this Bobath physiotherapy centre use the Bobath Concept as their framework for practice.

The Bobath Concept is based on:

  • Specialist knowledge of how the brain repairs itself in the recovery of functional movement
  • In depth knowledge of efficient functional movement
  • How movement performance adapts as a result of neurological damage
  • How skilled handling can direct the nervous system to recover lost movement potential and maintain movement abilities. Certain conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis may be progressive but there is still a need to maintain an individual so that they are functioning at their optimum. Therefore Bobath Concept treatment is aimed both at improving and maintaining functional movement

Neurological physiotherapy using the Bobath Concept is a specialised area in which state registered physiotherapists spend many years of post graduate training in order to develop their skills and knowledge.

The Bobath Concept is a treatment approach which focuses on improving the quality of movement of an individual to maximise their ability to function in day to day activities. The aim is to assess each individual’s potential and then design a treatment plan specifically for them. The central nervous system has the potential to adapt and learn through its complex interconnections and it is partly through understanding these connections that the Bobath Concept is so successful.

The Bobath therapist uses specialised handling skills to emphasise qualitative aspects of movement but the final goal is for the individual to be able to function independently.

The teaching of the Bobath Concept is carried out by Bobath Tutors around the world. Out of 17 tutors in the UK two of these have set up this centre, namely Lynne Fletcher and Linzi Meadows. Lynne and Linzi are both Advanced Bobath course tutors.

There is an increasing amount of research being carried out into the Bobath Concept. The British Bobath Tutors Association (BBTA) has written a book on clinical practice which was published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2009.

Raine, S., Meadows, L. and Lynch-Ellerington, M. (EDs)(2009) “Bobath concept:Theory and clinical practice in neurological rehabilitation”. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. View Book on Amazon.

Other references which may be helpful include:

IBITA (2008). Theoretical assumptions 2008 www.ibita.org

Graham JV, Eustace C, Brock K, Swain E, Irwin-Carruthers S (2009) The Bobath Concept in Contemporary Clinical Practice. Top Stroke Rehabil. 16(1):57-68.

Bassøe Gjelsvik, EB. (2007) The Bobath Concept in Adult Neurology. Thieme

Raine, S. (2006) Defining the Bobath concept using the Delphi technique Physiotherapy Research International 11(1): 4-13.

Raine S (2007) The current theoretical assumptions of the Bobath concept as determined by the members of BBTA Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 23: 137-152

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