Evaluation of the functional effects of a course of Bobath therapy in children with cerebral palsy: a preliminary study

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002 Jul;44(7):447-60. doi: 10.1017/s0012162201002353.


This study aimed to evaluate functional effects of Bobath therapy in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Fifteen children with a diagnosis of CP were recruited (9 males, 6 females; mean age 7 years 4 months, SD 2 years 8 months; age range 2 to 12 years). Types of motor disorder were as follows: spastic quadriplegia (n=9); spastic diplegia (n=4); athetoid quadriplegia (n=1), and ataxia (n=1). Participants were distributed across the following Gross Motor Function Classification levels: level I, n=1; level II, n=4; level III, n=5; level IV, n=4; and level V, n=1. Children awaiting orthopaedic intervention were excluded. A repeated measures design was used with participants tested with the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) and Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) at 6-weekly intervals (baseline, before and after Bobath therapy, and follow-up). As the data were of ordinal type, non-parametric statistics were used, i.e. Wilcoxon's test. Participants showed a significant improvement in scores in the following areas following Bobath therapy compared with the periods before and after Bobath therapy: GMFM total score (p=0.009); GMFM goal total (p=0.001); PEDI self care skills (p=0.036); and PEDI caregiver assistance total score (p=0.012). This demonstrates that in this population, gains were made in motor function and self care following a course of Bobath therapy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / classification
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Muscle Tonus*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*