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J Clin Psychol. 2014 Dec;70(12):1115-32. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22113. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Equine-related treatments for mental disorders lack empirical support: a systematic review of empirical investigations.

Author information

1
University of Southern Mississippi.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Equine-related treatments (ERT) for mental disorders are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of diagnoses; however, they have been subjected only to limited systematic investigation.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the quality of and results from peer-reviewed research on ERT for mental disorders and related outcomes.

METHOD:

Peer-reviewed studies (k = 14) examining treatments for mental disorders or closely related outcomes were identified from databases and article reference sections.

RESULTS:

All studies were compromised by a substantial number of threats to validity, calling into question the meaning and clinical significance of their findings. Additionally, studies failed to provide consistent evidence that ERT is superior to the mere passage of time in the treatment of any mental disorder.

CONCLUSION:

The current evidence base does not justify the marketing and utilization of ERT for mental disorders. Such services should not be offered to the public unless and until well-designed studies provide evidence that justify different conclusions.

KEYWORDS:

equine assisted psychotherapy; evidence based psychotherapy; pseudoscience; therapeutic horseback riding

PMID:
24953870
DOI:
10.1002/jclp.22113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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