Diversity in neurological physiotherapy: a content analysis of the Brunnstrom/Bobath controversy

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Physiotherapy offers a great variety of movement therapies for patients with the same medical diagnosis, some of which appear to be diametrically opposed to each other. Many therapies have branched out into new derivative forms of treatment without settling the arguments with their predecessors. Many experts argue that the initial step in dealing with this problem of diversity is to establish a uniform, unequivocal language in order to prevent the participants from talking at cross-purposes. This paper, however, introduces an alternative approach to clarifying disagreements in physiotherapy presenting an analysis of a well-known controversy - the Brunnstrom/Bobath debate - as an example. Rather than applying a single language believed to be neutral to both therapies, the content of Bobath and Brunnstrom's textbooks has been contrasted as if these were written in two different languages, each therapeutic techniques, goals and rationales in a specific way. This "discourse" analytical approach throws a new light on the nature of diversity by articulated in neurological physiotherapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Physiotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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