Research articles

"The concept of evidence-based practice represents the fundamental principle that the provision of quality care will depend on our ability to make choices that have been confirmed by sound scientific data, and that our decisions are based on the best evidence currently available".

From: Portney L., and Watkins, M., (2000) Foundations of Clinical Research - Applications to Practice, Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey

Kathleen Ganley video about NDT research


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NDT is an advanced 'hands-on' therapeutic approach for children with central nervous system insults that result in difficulties in task related posture and movement control. It is practised by experienced paediatric Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Speech-Language Pathologists.  NDT aims for children to achieve their highest functional participation in individually chosen daily skills, using their most efficient movements, that also supports further development of function (1). Improvement in functional skills of children with cerebral palsy following intensive periods of NDT intervention, has been reported anecdotally by parents and therapists for some time(2).

From her doctoral research:  ‘The impact of Neuo-Developmental Treatment on the performance of daily living tasks by children with cerebral palsy - pilot studies in measuring NDT outcomes’(2),  Bain showed that many of the research studies that aimed to investigate the impact of NDT were conducted using older NDT concepts and strategies that have since been discarded. Altering ‘movement patterns’ and ‘normalising muscle tone’, ‘positioning’ or sustaining certain positions for a length of time, or working towards ‘general development’, per se, have been replaced in current practice by a focus on actively working to achieve motor skills required for functional goals. Her oversll conclusion was that a number of studies with a variety of levels of evidence have documented improvement in functional skills in response to intensive treatment, including NDT. Studies where the positive outcomes have either not occurred or not persisted at follow-up have also been documented. Overall, however, the results of the studies cited appear to support the notion that intensity of treatment is an important element in the degree of functional change following therapy".

1.    Stamer, M. (2006b). Who Owns the Research? NDTA Network, 13, 9-10

2.  Bain, Kathryn M. (2011) The Impact of Neuro-Developmental Treatment on the Performance of Daily Living Tasks by Children with Cerebral Palsy - Pilot Studies in Measuring NDT OutcomesThe Sydney eScholarship Repository / Postgraduate Theses / Sydney Digital Theses / The University of Sydney, June, 2011.


  • Arndt, S., Chandler, L., Sweeney, J., Sharkey, M., & McElroy, J. (2008). Effects of a Neurodevelopmental Treatment-Based Trunk Protocol for Infants with Posture and Movement Dysfunction Pediatric Physical Therapy, 20(1), 11-22.
  • Arndt, S., Chandler , L., Sweeney, J., Sharkey, M., McElroy, J., Chapman, B., et al. (2005). Neuro-developmental Treatment Versus Parent-Infant Playgroup for Infants with Postural and Movement Dysfunction. Abstract. Pediatric PT Journal, 17
  • Bain, K. (2012). NDT: Learning Daily Tasks: Evidence/Videos/Labs. NDTA Network January/February 2012, Volume 19 (1): 9-11.
  • Bain, K. (2011). The Impact of Neuro-Developmental Treatment on the Performance of Daily Living Tasks by Children with Cerebral Palsy - Pilot Studies in Measuring NDT Outcomes. A dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Health Science, Sydney University, Australia.
  • Bar-Haim, S., Harries, N., Belokopytov, M., Frank, A., Copeliovitch, L., Kaplanski, J., et al. (2006). Comparison of Efficiency of Adeli Suit and neurodevelopmental Treatments in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 48 (5), 325-330
  • Bower, E., Michell, D., Burnett, M., Campbell , M., & McLellan, D. (2001). Randomized Controlled Trial of Physiotherapy in 56 Children with Cerebral Palsy Followed for 18 Months. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 43 , 4-15.
  • Cope, S.M., Liu, X-C., Verber, M.D., Cayo, C., Rao, S., Tassone, J.C., (2010) Upper Limb Function and Brain Reorganization After Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in Children With Hemiplegia. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, February, 2010; (13.1):17-28
  • Evans-Rogers, D.L. et al (2015). Short-term, Intensive Neurodevelopmental Treatment Program Experiences of Parents and their children with Disabilities. Paediatric Physical Therapy 27 (1) pp 61-71
  • Evans-Rogers, D., (2012). Short-term, Intensive Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) Program Experiences of Parents and their Children with Disabilities, A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
  • Franki I, Desloovere K, De Cat J, et al. (2012). The evidence base for conceptual approaches and additional therapies targeting lower limb function in children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review using the ICF as a framework. J Rehabil Med 44: 396–405.
  • Holland H., Blazek K., Prim Haynes & M., Dallman A. (2019). Improving postural symmetry: The effectiveness of the CATCH (Combined Approach to Treatment for Children with Hemiplegia) protocol. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach 12 (2019) 139–149
  • Girolami, G. (1987). Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Neurodevelopmental Treatment Physical Therapy Program to Improve the Motor Control of High Risk Preterm Infants. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill .
  • Haynes, M.P. and Phillips, D. (2012). Modified Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Enhanced by a Neuro-developmental Treatment-based Therapeutic Handling Protocol: two case studies. J. Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine 5(2): 117 - 124
  • Knox, V., & Evans, A. (2002a). Evaluation of the Functional Effects of a Course of Bobath Therapy in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Preliminary Study. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 44 (7), 447-460.
  • Mayo, N. (1991). The Effect of Physical Therapy for Children with Motor Delay and Cerebral Palsy. American Journal of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, 70 (5), 258-267.
  • Swiggum, SM., Knowlton, J. & Powers, D. (2021). Short-term and sustained effects of a three-week neuro-developmental treatment intensive: A case series report. NeuroRehabilitation 48(1): 19-27. DOI:10.3233/NRE-201525
  • Trahan, J., & Malouin, F. (2002). Intermittent Intensice Therapy in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 44 (4), 233-239.
  • Tsorlakis, N., Evaggelinou, C., & Tsorbatzoudis, C. (2004). Effect of Intensive Neurodevelopmental Treatment in Gross Motor Function of Children with Cerebral Palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 46 (11), 740 - 745.
  • Turker, D., Korkem, D., Ozal, C., Gunel, M. K. & Karahan, S. (2015) The effects of Neuro-Developmental (Bobath) therapy based goal directed therapy on gross motor function and functional status of children with cerebral palsy. IJTRR, 4 (4), 9-20 

Reference list compiled by Dr K. Bain.