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Parental Perspectives of Occupational Therapy in an Equine Environment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By D. Kalmbach, W. Wood, B. C. Peters

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Abstract

This paper reports on the qualitative phase of a mixed methods study of occupational therapy in an equine environment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study's quantitative phase found that this intervention improved the occupational performance, social motivation, social communication, and self-regulation of some children with ASD. The study's qualitative phase, reported herein, subsequently aimed to describe parental perspectives on children's experiences of the intervention and its influences on everyday life. Using a qualitative descriptive research approach, five parents participated in two rounds of semi-structured interviews. Interview data were analyzed using theoretical thematic analysis. Although parents expressed some concerns about the intervention, overall they found the intervention to be appropriate and acceptable. Next research steps include creation of a manual for the intervention and assessment of feasibility across a broader range of practice sites, occupational therapists, children with ASD, and their parents.

Publication Title Occup Ther Health Care
Pages 1-23
ISBN/ISSN 0738-0577
DOI 10.1080/07380577.2020.1751903
Language eng
Notes 1541-3098Kalmbach, DorothyWood, WendyPeters, B CaitlinJournal ArticleEnglandOccup Ther Health Care. 2020 Apr 17:1-23. doi: 10.1080/07380577.2020.1751903.
Author Address Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.Departments of Animal Sciences and Occupational Therapy, Temple Grandin Equine Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA.
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted interventions
  2. Hippotherapy
  3. Human-animal bond