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Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis on the effect of hippotherapy and related equine-assisted therapies on motor capabilities in children with cerebral palsy

By Martin Häusler, Nicole Heussen

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Abstract

Background

Equine-assisted treatments of the motor system appear to have an effect on the neuromuscular system and aim to improve the pathological condition of children with cerebral palsy. Hippotherapy is a distinct form of equine-assisted therapy where certified physiotherapists use the horse as a dynamic tool in a medical treatment setting. The objective of the proposed review is to summarize and critically appraise the evidence on the effect of equine-assisted treatments on motor capabilities of children with cerebral palsy.

Methods

We will identify trials through systematic searches of PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Quality assessment of retrieved articles will be conducted using the criteria outlined in the revised tool to assess risk of bias in randomized trials (RoB 2.0) or the ROBINS-I tool (Risk Of Bias In Non-randomized Studies - of interventions), respectively. Quantitative data synthesis will be performed if treatments, participants, and the underlying clinical question are homogenous and provide adequate outcome data for meta-analysis. Otherwise, data will be synthesized, using the narrative synthesis approach.

Conclusion

This review will provide a critical summary of the evidence regarding the impact of equine-assisted treatments on motor capabilities of children with cerebral palsy. The result from this review will help to inform healthcare practitioners and policymakers on the additional effect of equine-assisted treatments on reducing the burden of cerebral palsy among children.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2020
Publication Title Systematic Reviews
Volume 9
Pages 5
DOI 10.1186/s13643-020-01297-7
URL https://systematicreviewsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13643-020-01297-7
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Cerebral palsy
  3. Children
  4. Equine-assisted activities
  5. Hippotherapy
  6. Horses
  7. Mammals
  8. open access
  9. Service animals
Badges
  1. open access