Research Article

Conductive education at the Petö Institute, Budapest.

BMJ 1989; 299 doi: (Published 04 November 1989) Cite this as: BMJ 1989;299:1145
  1. R. O. Robinson,
  2. G. T. McCarthy,
  3. T. M. Little
  1. Chailey Heritage Hospital, East Sussex.


    Conductive education, which was developed at the Petö Institute in Budapest, has been publicised incorrectly as a method of treatment for children with cerebral palsy. From the results of information given and our own observations during a week's visit to the institute we conclude that a minority of carefully selected children with cerebral palsy and spina bifida, who have a relatively good prognosis, are educated at the institute; the education is carried out with appropriate medical, surgical, and orthotic intervention; and the children probably function better as a result of the intensive programme than do similar children in Britain in areas where therapy is scarce. They seem to achieve, however, what we would expect similar children in Britain to do when facilities are adequate. Though our findings do not therefore justify using public funds to refer children to the institute, some (self selected) families benefit from a visit, particularly from the positive attitudes of the staff. The role of the conductor and the integration of programmes into a classroom setting have much to recommend them, and conductive education, if successfully transferred to Britain, might be beneficial to a wider range of children than in Hungary.