The Bobath Concept in Walking Activity in Chronic Stroke Measured Through the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

The goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of a rehabilitation programme based on the Bobath concept in order to improve walking activity in individuals with chronic stroke and to show the usefulness of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a tool for collecting functioning information. This study is a repeated measures study. The setting of this study is an outpatient neurological rehabilitation centre based on a multidisciplinary approach. Twenty-four participants suffering from chronic stroke (>1 year and a half and <5 years post-stroke) and mean age of 65.58 (standard deviation 10.73) were the participants of the study. Multidisciplinary approach based on the Bobath concept principles with three weekly individual physiotherapy sessions of 45 min each over a 6-month period was the intervention for this study. The measures used were Modified Emory Functional Ambulation Profile, 10-m walk test, 6-min walk test, muscle strength testing and subsequent codification of these results into ICF qualifiers. The results of the study displayed significant improvement in activities of walking long distances, on different surfaces and around obstacles. There was no significant improvement in the activity of walking short distances or for muscle power functions.

The study found a rehabilitation programme based on the Bobath Concept improved walking activities in people with chronic stroke. For this intervention, the use of the ICF qualifiers was sensitive in detecting post-treatment changes.

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