Author: The StrokeEd Collaboration

Presented: 28th February 2024

Duration: 1hr 20m

Associate Professor Simone Dorsch
PhD MHSc (Neurological Physiotherapy), BAppSc (Physiotherapy), Physiotherapist, School of Allied Health,  Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University (NSW) Australia and Director, The StrokeEd Collaboration, Sydney, Australia

Zheng Cao
physiotherapist, PhD candidate and sessional tutor, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia

Clair Sparrius
private practice physiotherapist, ABC Rehabilitation, West Dubbo, Central Western NSW, Australia

Description: The presenters summarise findings from two systematic reviews about the effect of Bobath therapy on upper and lower limb function when compared with other interventions post- stroke. The reviews included 13 and 22 randomised controlled trials, respectively, and found Bobath therapy to be inferior to task-specific training and not superior to other interventions such as mental practice, robotics or strength training, with the exception of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (from a single RCT).   A key message from this robust evidence is that task-specific training should be prioritised over Bobath therapy. In this presentation, examples of task-specific training are provided, and common barriers and enablers to this practice change identified.  Audience members are invited to consider what behaviours need to change, and who needs to enable these changes at their health service for the benefit of stroke survivors.

Learning objectives
By the end of the presentation, attendees should be able to:

  • Describe the UK/Ireland guideline recommendations about use of Bobath therapy to improve upper and lower limb function post-stroke
  • Name and describe the findings of published studies on which the recommendations are based
  • Describe what task-specific training is, & how it might be used to train upper and lower limb function
  • Reflect on who needs to enable practice change at their health service, local barriers and enablers