Systematic Review of Hippotherapy Studies and Descriptive summarize of these Results

Document Type : Review Articles




Introduction: Hippotherapy is a physiotherapeutic method that has gained substantial attention in recent years. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review on the topic in order to descriptively summarizing the current state of knowledge in the field.Methods: In this Systematic review study, PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Web of Knowledge, Science Direct and SID databases were searched from 1990 to 2012 using keywords "hippotherapy", "equine- assisted therapy ", "horseback riding", "horse riding", and "therapeutic riding" and their Persian equivalents. 35 articles were finally included in the study and all of them reviewed by two of the authors. The results were extracted, summarized and reported in table format.Results: The mean of sample size of studies were 22.5. Mean length of the intervention period among the interventional studies was 13.16 week. Children comprised the most commonly recruited age group.  The most commonly evaluated disability was cerebral palsy. In 33 studies (about 94%of all articles), hippotherapy was shown to be an effective intervention.Conclusion: According to results of this study, hippotherapy appears to be an effective rehabilitative modality. It may be applicable for managing various conditions such as cerebral palsy, trunk/head stability, multiple sclerosis and physical disabilities. Nevertheless, studies in this area are limited and further large-scale studies are recommended.Key words: Hippotherapy, physiotherapy methods, Systematic Review, Descriptive Report, disability and injury