The Halliwick Concept – water-based exercise for people with disabilities

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The Halliwick Concept was developed by the swimming instructor and engineer James MacMillan and his wife Phyl McMillan in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Students from the Halliwick School in London, a school for girls with disabilities, inspired them to find a solution so that everyone, regardless of functioning, could participate in water-based activities.


What studies are available on examining effect of swimming pool training according to the Halliwick concept on physical, mental or social health in people with disabilities?

Identified literature

  1. Mortimer R, Privopoulos M, Kumar S. The effectiveness of hydrotherapy in the treatment of social and behavioral aspects of children with autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review. Journal Of Multidisciplinary Healthcare 2014;7:93-104.
  2. Tripp F, Krakow K. Effects of an aquatic therapy approach (Halliwick-Therapy) on functional mobility in subacute stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation 2014;28:432-439.
  3. Noh DK, Lim JY, Shin HI, Paik NJ. The effect of aquatic therapy on postural balance and muscle strength in stroke survivors--a randomized controlled pilot trial. Clin Rehabil 2008;22:966-76.

SBU Enquiry Service Consists of structured literature searches to highlight studies that can address questions received by the SBU Enquiry Service from Swedish healthcare or social service providers. We assess the risk of bias in systematic reviews and when needed also quality and transferability of results in health economic studies. Relevant references are compiled by an SBU staff member, in consultation with an external expert when needed.

Published: 9/21/2018
Report no: ut201828
Registration no: SBU 2018/85