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, 37 (1), 51-63

Effect of Hippotherapy on Motor Proficiency and Function in Children With Cerebral Palsy Who Walk

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Effect of Hippotherapy on Motor Proficiency and Function in Children With Cerebral Palsy Who Walk

Danielle Champagne et al. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr.

Abstract

Aims: To evaluate the effects of hippotherapy on physical capacities of children with cerebral palsy.

Methods: Thirteen children (4-12 years old) with cerebral palsy classified in Gross Motor Function Classification System Level I or II were included in this prospective quasi-experimental ABA design study. Participants received 10 weeks of hippotherapy (30 min per week). Gross motor function and proficiency were measured with the Bruininks-Oseretski Motor Proficiency short form [BOT2-SF]) and the Gross Motor Function Measure-88 [GMFM-88] (Dimension D and E) twice before the program (T1 and T1'), immediately after (T2), and 10 weeks following the end of the program (T3).

Results: Mean scores for dimensions D and E of the GMFM-88 Dimension scores (p = .005) and three out of the eight items of the BOT2-SF (fine motor precision (p = .013), balance (p = .025), and strength (p = .012) improved between baseline and immediately after intervention; mean scores immediately following and 10 weeks following intervention did not differ.

Conclusions: Hippotherapy provided by a trained therapist who applies an intense and graded session for 10 weeks can improve body functions and performance of gross motor and fine motor activities in children with cerebral palsy.

Keywords: Balance; cerebral palsy; gross motor function; hippotherapy; muscle strength; posture.

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