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The Assessment and Treatment of Adults with Neurological Conditions

The Bobath Concept


Dubai - UAE

The Bobath concept is a problem-solving approach used in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with movement and postural control disturbances due to a lesion of the central nervous system. It is named after Berta Bobath, a physiotherapist, and her husband Karl, a psychiatrist/neuropsychiatrist, who proposed the approach for treating patients affected with Central Nervous System anomalies.



Dr. Jennings


Dr. Jennings is a physiotherapist with 38 years of experience. She is a senior Bobath instructor at the Australian Bobath Training Association (ABTA). She is also a holder of a master's degree in physiotherapy from Monash University. In 2000, she qualified as a Bobath Tutor. She qualified as an IBITA Advanced Instructor in 2012 and initiated Advanced Bobath Tutor training in 2009. Now, for the first time in Dubai with Primephysio Training, UK.


Andre, one of our patient volunteers

Bobath Concept – Definition

“The Bobath Concept is an inclusive, individualized therapeutic approach to optimize movement recovery and potential for persons with neurological pathophysiology, informed by contemporary movement and neurosciences. The concept provides a framework for the analysis of functional movement based on the understanding that neurological pathology affects the whole person. The intervention focuses on the recovery of typical movement, minimizing atypical and compensatory movement, whilst recognizing that movement problems are influenced by the person’s lived experiences pre and post the neurological lesion. There is an emphasis on a 24-hour multidisciplinary approach to enhance activity and participation.


Within the Bobath concept, functional movement analysis considers the influence of sensory information on the relative interactions of postural control, selective movement, and cognitive/perceptual processes. Likewise, trunk and head control is viewed as equally important as upper and lower limb control. The quality of movement performance is considered with respect to the integration of postural control and selective movement, the active alignment of all body segments, and the ability to receive, integrate, and respond to sensory information. Facilitation is a Bobath clinical skill and an active process that seeks to influence sensory information through therapeutic handling, and environmental and verbal cues. 'The client’s response to facilitation informs the clinical reasoning process.'"

The Model of Bobath Clinical Practice (MBCP)

A clearly defined model of the Bobath clinical practice has been lacking in the current evidence base. This creates confusion as to what actually the Bobath concept is in clinical practice and leads to misinterpretation and misrepresentation within the literature. The IBITA Education Committee commenced work on developing a Model of Bobath Clinical Practice under the leadership of Susan Ryerson in 2008. This model is the clinical parallel to the publication by Vaughan-Graham et al., (2009) which outlines the theoretical underpinning of a contemporary Bobath concept. This model aims to identify what is unique to the Bobath concept in terms of contemporary neurorehabilitation. The model is not a model of ‘best practice’ and therefore does not seek to include all of the basic requirements of assessment that every therapist would routinely undertake.

The model seeks to identify the following:

  • Aspects of clinical practice that are a focus of the Bobath concept.

  • Relationships that are unique to the Bobath concept.

  • Provision of a framework for research.

Course Aims and Objectives:

  1. Understand the history and ongoing development of the Bobath concept.

  2.  Be able to integrate the principles of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) in their evaluation and treatment of adults with neurological conditions. Through this, they will be able to analyze and facilitate efficient postural and movement control in preparation for and during functional activity.

  3. Understand the functional consequences of lesions of the central nervous system.

  4. Observe and analyze dysynergic and/or inefficient movement and function, and influence this through intervention.

  5.  Utilize the principles of motor control, motor learning, neural plasticity, and muscle plasticity in their approach to treatment.

  6. Understand the relationship between assessment and treatment, and implement the ongoing process of clinical reasoning.

  7. Adapt and apply appropriate theoretical principles of treatment to the individual patient/client within his environment.

  8. Develop effective handling skills and incorporate them with appropriate environmental and other influences in order to regain function.

  9. Appreciate the importance of appropriate outcome measures to support evidence-based practice.

  10. Continue learning through critical reading, self-evaluation, and sharing with others.

Topics to be covered

This course is composed of the following components:

  • Theoretical.

  • Practical.

  • Self-directed learning.

  • Additional components.

About the Basic Bobath program:

This course is for:

  • Physiotherapists.

  • Occupational Therapists.

  • Medical doctors, speech therapists, and registered nurses may be allowed to participate fully (only in the basic course), at the discretion of the individual course leader.

Disclaimer: This course involves real patients.

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