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Pediatr Phys Ther. 2011 Fall;23(3):301-8. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318227caac.

Effect of hippotherapy on perceived self-competence and participation in a child with cerebral palsy.

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Quest Therapeutic Services, Inc., West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA.


This case report highlights changes in self-competence and social acceptance, along with changes in functional skills, after an 8-week program of hippotherapy. A 6-year-old girl with mild ataxic cerebral palsy, level I Gross Motor Functional Classification System, exhibited typical impairments in body systems and functions that affected her participation in age-appropriate functional and leisure activities. The child's performance on the Gross Motor Function Measure-66, the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument, and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children were examined at baseline, after the 8-week intervention, and at a 2-month follow-up session. Data at 8 weeks demonstrated positive changes in all areas, with improvements continuing for 2 months after the program's completion. Hippotherapy not only may be an effective intervention to improve functional gross motor development but also may affect perceived self-competence and social acceptance, which may lead to increases in participation for children with mild cerebral palsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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