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Bobath Therapy for Patients with Neurological Conditions: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Guidelines

Last updated: November 28, 2018
Project Number: RC1048-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report

Question

  1. What is the clinical-effectiveness of Bobath therapy for treatment of patients with neurological conditions?
  2. What is the cost-effectiveness of Bobath therapy for treatment of patients with neurological conditions?
  3. What are the evidence-based guidelines of Bobath therapy for treatment of patients with neurological conditions?

Key Message

Moderate quality evidence from a systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and nonrandomized studies suggested that compared with no treatment, there was a large effect in favour of Bobath therapy for upper limb physical functioning, and upper limb activity compared in patients with stroke-related upper limb impairment. When compared with other physical therapies, Bobath therapy was equally as effective as other physical therapies for the treatment of upper limb physical function. Bobath therapy had a small negative effect on upper limb function activity in patients who had suffered a stroke compared with other physical therapies. Evidence of moderate quality from four RCTs of patients who had recently suffered a stroke suggested that Bobath therapy was equally as effective as other physical therapies in improving functional ability, functional activity, and balance and stability. No cost-effectiveness studies or evidence-based guidelines were identified regarding Bobath therapy for the treatment of patients with neurological conditions.