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The Short-term Effects of Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Horseback Riding on Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Meta-analysis

By C. Hyun, K. Kim, S. Lee, N. Ko, I. S. Lee, S. E. Koh

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Abstract

Purpose: 

We systematically reviewed the short-term effects of hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding (THR) on lower-limb muscle spasticity in children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: 

PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases were searched for relevant quantitative studies. Treatment effects were coded using the Ashworth scale (AS) or modified Ashworth scale (MAS) in pre- and posttreatment evaluations. Of the 73 studies identified initially, 7 met the inclusion criteria.

Results: 

Treatment was associated with positive effects on lower-limb muscle spasticity, as supported by the AS or MAS scores. However, repeated trials did not show a statistically significant difference from a single trial (Q = 2.95, P = .086).

Conclusion: 

Hippotherapy and THR can be used to treat lower-limb muscle spasticity in children with CP. However, repeated sessions did not show a better effect in reducing spasticity.

What this adds to the evidence: 

This is the first meta-analysis to confirm that hippotherapy or THR can reduce lower-limb muscle spasticity in children with CP in the short term, but long-term effects on function still require further studies.

Date 2022
Publication Title Pediatr Phys Ther
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 172-178
ISBN/ISSN 0898-5669 (Print)0898-5669
DOI 10.1097/pep.0000000000000880
Author Address Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center, and Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Cerebral palsy
  2. Children
  3. Hippotherapy
  4. Humans
  5. open access
  6. Sports
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  1. open access