Bobath therapy is inferior to task-specific training and not superior to other interventions in improving lower limb activities after stroke : A systematic review

Journal article


Scrivener, Katharine, Dorsch, Simone, McCluskey, Annie, Schurr, Karl, Graham, Petra L., Cao, Zheng, Shepherd, Roberta and Tyson, Sarah. (2020). Bobath therapy is inferior to task-specific training and not superior to other interventions in improving lower limb activities after stroke : A systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy. 66(4), pp. 225-235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2020.09.008
AuthorsScrivener, Katharine, Dorsch, Simone, McCluskey, Annie, Schurr, Karl, Graham, Petra L., Cao, Zheng, Shepherd, Roberta and Tyson, Sarah
Abstract

Question
In adults with stroke, does Bobath therapy improve lower limb activity performance, strength or co-ordination when compared with no intervention or another intervention?

Design
Systematic review of randomised trials with meta-analyses.

Participants
Adults after stroke.

Intervention
Bobath therapy compared with another intervention or no intervention.

Outcome measures
Lower limb activity performance (eg, sit to stand, walking, balance), lower limb strength and lower limb co-ordination. Trial quality was assessed using the PEDro scale.

Results
Twenty-two trials were included in the review and 17 in the meta-analyses. The methodological quality of the trials varied, with PEDro scale scores ranging from 2 to 8 out of 10. No trials compared Bobath therapy to no intervention. Meta-analyses estimated the effect of Bobath therapy on lower limb activities compared with other interventions, including: task-specific training (nine trials), combined interventions (four trials), proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (one trial) and strength training (two trials). The pooled data indicated that task-specific training has a moderately greater benefit on lower limb activities than Bobath therapy (SMD 0.48), although the true magnitude of the benefit may be substantially larger or smaller than this estimate (95% CI 0.01 to 0.95). Bobath therapy did not clearly improve lower limb activities more than a combined intervention (SMD −0.06, 95% CI −0.73 to 0.61) or strength training (SMD 0.35, 95% CI −0.37 to 1.08). In one study, Bobath therapy was more effective than proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation for improving standing balance (SMD −1.40, 95% CI −1.92 to −0.88), but these interventions did not differ on any other outcomes. Bobath therapy did not improve strength or co-ordination more than other interventions.

Conclusions
Bobath therapy was inferior to task-specific training and not superior to other interventions, with the exception of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Prioritising Bobath therapy over other interventions is not supported by current evidence.

Registration
PROSPERO CRD42019112451.

KeywordsBobath; stroke; physical therapy; walking; lower limb
Year2020
JournalJournal of Physiotherapy
Journal citation66 (4), pp. 225-235
PublisherElsevier Australia
ISSN1836-9553
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2020.09.008
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85092727971
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range225-235
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2020
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Jun 2021
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