(Neuro-Developmental Treatment/Bobath) Definition
NDT is a holistic and interdisciplinary clinical practice model informed by current and evolving research that emphasizes individualized therapeutic handling based on movement analysis for habilitation and rehabilitation of individuals with neurological pathophysiology. Using the ICF model, the therapist applies a problem-solving approach to assess activity and participation to identify and prioritize relevant integrities and impairments as a basis for the establishment of achievable outcomes with clients and caregivers. An in-depth understanding of typical and atypical development, and expertise in analysis of postural control, movement, activity, and participation throughout the lifespan, form the basis for examination, evaluation, and intervention. Therapeutic handling, used during evaluation and intervention, consists of a dynamic reciprocal interaction between the client and therapist for activation of optimal sensorimotor processing, task performance, and skill acquisition for achievement of participation in meaningful activities.
Christine Cayo, Monica Diamond, Tracy Bovre, Pamela Mullens, Pamela Ward, Margo Prim Haynes, Colleen Carey, Ann Heavey, Teresa Siebold, Katy Kerris, Debbie Evans-Rogers, Lois Bly, Jan McElroy, Marie Simeo, J. Lyndelle Owens, Kay Folmar, Jodi Renard, Marybeth Trapani-Hanasewych, and Mary Rose Franjoine.
To cite this definition, use one of the following formats.
Cayo C, Diamond M, Bovre T, et al. The NDT/Bobath (Neuro-Developmental Treatment/Bobath) Approach. NDTA Network. 2015;22(2):1.
Cayo, C., Diamond, M., Bovre, T., Mullens, P., Ward, P., Haynes, M., … Franjoine, M.R. (2015). The NDT/Bobath (Neuro-Developmental Treatment/Bobath) Approach. NDTA Network, 22(2):1.
Neuro-Developmental Treatment is a hands-on treatment approach used by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. The approach was developed to enhance the function of adults and children who have difficulties in controlling movement resulting from neurological challenges such as stroke and head injury.
NDT Trained therapists have completed advanced training in NDT to enable them to assess and treat the neuro-motor problems experienced by these individuals, helping them to become as functional and independent as possible. The NDT-trained therapist works collaboratively with the individual, his or her family and caregivers, physicians, and other members of the rehab team to develop and implement a comprehensive treatment program for each person based on scientific principles and current research.
Training in the NDT approach is provided by NDTA certified Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech-Language Pathologist Instructors. Each NDTA Approved Course is directed and managed by an NDTA Certified Coordinator Instructor.
The Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDTA) furthers the development of this unique approach by supporting and providing continuing education, providing educational services to the community, supporting clinical research and promoting client and family advocacy.
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Do you have questions about NDT?
Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT):
- Has been used to refer to Neuro-Developmental Treatment since at least 1983
- Is a continuation and advancement of the treatment approach originally developed by Karel and Berta Bobath in 1943
- Is also commonly known as “The Bobath Approach” or “The Neuro-Developmental Treatment Approach”
- Is the most widely used treatment in North America for children and adults with cerebral palsy and for adults with hemiplegia following stroke
- Is the therapy approach sanctioned by the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDTA), which has been in existence since the mid-1970s and was registered in 1977 as an association of physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists who practice Neuro-Developmental Treatment.
- Is definitively explained in the 2016 book, Neuro-Developmental Treatment: A Guide to NDT Clinical Practice, edited by Judith C. Bierman, Mary Rose Franjoine, Catherine M. Hazzard, and published by Thieme.