[ARTICLE] Bobath and traditional approaches in post-stroke gait rehabilitation in adults – Full Text PDF


Study aim: The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of a study of post-stroke gait reeducation using the Bobath neuro-developmental treatment (NDT-Bobath) method and the traditional approach.

Material and methods: The study included 30 adult patients after ischemic stroke, aged 32–82. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the treatment groups: the study group (treated with the NDT-Bobath method combined with the traditional approach, ten sessions), and a reference group (treated with the traditional method only, ten sessions). The measurements (spatio-temporal gait parameters based on 10 m walking test: gait velocity, normalized gait velocity, cadence, normalized cadence, stride length, and normalized stride length) were administered twice: on admission (before the therapy) and after the last therapy session.

Results: Statistically significant and favorable changes in the gait velocity, cadence and stride length regarding their normalized values were observed. Moderate and high correlations among changes of assessed spatio-temporal gait parameters were observed in both groups.

Conclusions: The NDT-Bobath method may be regarded as a more effective form of gait post-stroke rehabilitation in young adults compared to traditional rehabilitation.


Despite stroke incidence and mortality rates slowly decreasing in selected countries (especially developed Western Europe countries) [6, 7], stroke is still regarded as one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability. Ischemic stroke cases constitute approximately 70–80% of all stroke cases [6, 7]. Post-stroke gait disorder reduces mobility of patients, their independence, participation in activities of daily living and community life. Gait disorders may be reflected in spatio-temporal gait parameters. Their assessment may be a useful basic or supplementary way to assess general efficiency of gait function restoration during a neurorehabilitation program.

The Bobath neuro-developmental treatment (NDTBobath) method for adults is still one of the most popular therapeutic methods in neurorehabilitation, including gait relearning [8, 21]. Current studies concerning its use in post-stroke gait relearning have methodological concerns related to study/treatment fidelity and measurement [16]. For this moment there is insufficient evidence (especially from randomized controlled trials – RCTs) to conclude that a particular physiotherapy method (including NDT-Bobath) is more effective in promoting recovery of gait than any other approach. Moreover, combined use of NDT-Bobath and components of any other approaches may diminish the aforementioned picture. The assumption that rehabilitation using a proper mix of components derived from different approaches may be more effective than no treatment control in attaining gait function following stroke may be true [18]. Research on various mixed/eclectic approaches constitute an important step toward patient-tailored therapy and the need for further support. Current evidence concerning combined use of the NDT-Bobath method and components of another therapeutic approach is weak. Evidence of favorable combined use of the NDT-Bobath method is as follows:

− successful use of mixed rehabilitative procedures, including NDT-Bobath, in an individual training package [17],

− therapy based on the NDT-Bobath concept supported by task practice is more effective than task practice alone [9],

− injection of botulinum toxin type A combined with NDT-Bobath therapy showed improvements in lower limb spasticity, gait and balance in post-stroke patients greater than use of botulinum toxin type A alone [11].

The aim of this study was compare the outcomes of a study of post-stroke gait rehabilitation using the NDTBobath method for adults combined with the traditional approach and the sole traditional approach.

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