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J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Oct;17(10):901-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0547.

The effect of therapeutic horseback riding on 5 children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Hunt Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Levanger, Norway. koenraad.cuypers@ntnu.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on behavior, health-related quality of life, and motor performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

DESIGN:

The study employed a time series quasi-experimental design with two pretests and two post-tests conducted 8 weeks apart.

SETTING/LOCATION:

The study was conducted at a riding school in Levanger, Norway.

SUBJECTS:

The subjects comprised a convenience sample of 5 children aged 10-11 years with ADHD.

METHODS:

Subjects received a 1-hour therapeutic horseback riding twice a week for 8 weeks as intervention.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Behavior and health-related quality of life was assessed using Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and The KINDL(R)-Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire, respectively. The Modified Function-Neurological Assessment and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children assessed the subject's motor performance.

RESULTS:

The pre- and post-tests scores were compared with the Wilcoxon paired sample tests and the Friedman test for nonparametric multiple test samples. Positive differences (p≤0.05) between the test results at pretest 2 and post-test 1 were noted for the behavior SDQ subscore "Total difficulties" reported by children (12.8±5.8), by parents (16.6±8.2), and by teachers (15.0±5.2). A significant difference (p<0.05) for the "Total difficulties" in SDQ was found between all 4 tests. In relation to quality of life, significant differences in the "Total score" (67.2±14.7) were reported by the children themselves. The motor performance improved after the intervention. The effect sizes and power were established.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the present study indicate that therapeutic horseback riding had a positive effect on 5 children with ADHD in several domains of the social role behavior, quality of life, and motor performance. This pilot study constitutes a good scientific prospect for future studies.

PMID:
22010778
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2010.0547
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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