History of physiotherapy in Croatia Marie-Luise Betlheim - the first president of the Croatian Association of Physiotherapists

Rosarija Habuš


Introduction: The organized activities of physiotherapists in Croatia began on November 25, 1956, with the establishment of the Society of Physio and Occupational Therapists of Croatia. The first president was Marie- Luise Betlheim.

Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the historical facts that connect the professional activity of Marie- Luise Betlheim with physiotherapy in Croatia.

Materials and methods: Historical material from archives and private collections that can be undeniably linked to the work of Marie-Luise Betlheim was investigated.

Results: The collected material shows the professional path of Marie-Luise Betlheim, who in 1928 founded the School of Medical Gymnastics and Rhythmics in Zagreb. From 1946 to 1973, she worked as the chief physiotherapist of the Orthopedic clinics of University Hospital Centre Zagreb. At the same time, he works as a teacher - associate at the School of Physical Medicine and Radiography. She is one of the founders and the first president of the Society of Physio and Occupational Therapists of Croatia (president in the period 1956-1964).

Conclusion: The role of Marie-Luise Betlheim in the professional development of physiotherapy is great and undeniable. She is one of the key figures in the history of physiotherapy in Croatia.


Key words: Marie-Luise Betlheim, medical gymnastics, rhythmics, history of physiotherapy