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, 36 (6), 762-9

Therapeutic Effects of Mechanical Horseback Riding on Gait and Balance Ability in Stroke Patients

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Therapeutic Effects of Mechanical Horseback Riding on Gait and Balance Ability in Stroke Patients

Jun Young Han et al. Ann Rehabil Med.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the therapeutic effects of mechanical horseback riding for gait and balance parameters in post-stroke patients.

Method: This study was a non randomized prospective positive-controlled trial over a 12 week period. From May 2011 to October 2011, 37 stroke patients were recruited from our outpatient clinic and divided into two groups. The control group received the conventional physiotherapy while the intervention group received the conventional physiotherapy along with mechanical horseback riding therapy for 12 weeks. Outcome measurements of gait included the Functional Ambulation Category (FAC) and gait part of the Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment (G-POMA) while those of balance included the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the balance part of the Performance Oriented Mobility Assessment (B-POMA). These measurements were taken before and after treatment.

Results: There were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics and initial values between the two groups. When comparing baseline and 12 weeks post treatment in each group, the intervention group showed significant improvement on BBS (39.9±5.7 → 45.7±4.8, p=0.001) and B-POMA (10.4±2.6 → 12.6±2.1, p=0.001), but significant improvement on gait parameters. When comparing the groups, the dynamic balance category of BBS in post treatment showed significant difference (p=0.02).

Conclusion: This study suggests that mechanical horseback riding therapy may be an effective treatment tool for enhancing balance in adults with stroke.

Keywords: Balance; Gait; Hippotherapy; Stroke.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Movement pattern of hippotherapy simulator equipment.

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