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Role and Effects of Hippotherapy in the Treatment of Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review of the Literature

By María José Menor-Rodríguez, Mar Sevilla Martín, Juan Carlos Sánchez-García, María Montiel-Troya, Jonathan Cortés-Martín, Raquel Rodríguez-Blanque

Category Journal Articles

Cerebral palsy is described as a group of permanent neuromotor-type disorders caused by non-progressive injuries in the developmental stages of the central nervous system, and which have serious repercussions on the quality of life of affected children due to the physical and psychological damage it entails for them. Today, it is the leading cause of physical disability in childhood. Since there is no cure for this disorder, treatment is based on the improvement of symptoms, which is not always achieved through conventional therapies. For this reason, the need arises to investigate other alternative therapies, such as hippotherapy, to determine the main effects of hippotherapy as a rehabilitation therapy in children with cerebral palsy. The review was performed in accordance with the criteria of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol and was registered under the number CRD42021233003. The databases used were PubMed, Dialnet and the web browser Google Scholar. After applying the inclusion criteria, we included 11 articles. As a conclusion, we found that hippotherapy provides benefits at physical, psychological, cognitive and social levels in children with cerebral palsy, and thus it should be considered as a complementary rehabilitation therapy to conventional treatments.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2021
Publication Title Journal of Clinical Medicine
Volume 10
Issue 12
Pages 11
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/jcm10122589
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Cerebral palsy
  3. Children
  4. Equine-assisted activities
  5. Hippotherapy
  6. Horses
  7. Mammals
  8. open access
  1. open access