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L. A. Bassette, T. Taber-Doughty & C. Brady
2016/2017
Learning and Psychoeducation
This study examined the effects of using direct instruction and verbal prompting to teach conversational skills to adolescents with mild...
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This study examined the effects of using direct instruction and verbal prompting to teach conversational skills to adolescents with mild disabilities during therapeutic horseback riding (TR) lessons. A multiple probe design was used to assess the participants’ fluency and generalization of conversational skills practiced during riding lessons. Participants received direct instruction and were prompted to practice conversational skills with their horses, other riders, volunteers, and the TR instructor during lessons. Following the TR lessons, participants completed scavenger hunts during un-mounted activities to assess their fluency and generalization of skills. The results indicate all three participants demonstrated increases in fluency of skills and two participants maintained the skills one month following intervention. Suggestions for future research and implications for practices are discussed.
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A. Brunette, J. Balasz, K. M. Loukas, K. Russell, MS, N. Trifone, OTR/L L. Crossley-Marra, S Bronson, S. Durgin
2016/2017
Therapeutic Riding
This qualitative study sought to identify the meaning individuals associate with equine- assisted activities (EAA), including riders, parents of riders...
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This qualitative study sought to identify the meaning individuals associate with equine- assisted activities (EAA), including riders, parents of riders, and volunteers participating in a therapeutic riding program through semi-structured interviews. Data was analyzed using phenomenological methods to find broad and role specific themes associated with EAA. Results suggest that doing, being, and belonging (Wilcock, 1998), all aspects of what the American Occupational Therapy Association defines as the daily life activities in which people engage, referred to as occupations (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2014), were common themes experienced among those participating in EAA.
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S. Mirzabeigi Fini, Y. Kazemzadeh & Y. Sokhanguei.
2016/2017
Hippotherapy
The term hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech- language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and...
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The term hippotherapy refers to how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech- language pathology professionals use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement to engage sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes (American Hippotherapy Association, 2016). This paper discusses the effect of 14 weeks of hippotherapy on static balance, dynamic balance and reaction time of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The participants consisted of 24 males between 7-18 years old, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and randomly placed in experimental and control groups (N=12 for each group). The experimental group participated in 14 weeks of hippotherapy sessions. The control group did not engage in any hippotherapy or any physical activity outside of their ordinary life during the research period. The statistical analysis shows significance in the scores of the static and dynamic balance of the experimental group versus the control group as compared with the time before the exercises (p=0.0001), (p=0.019). In contrast, no significant change was seen in the reaction time scores of the participants as compared with the time before hippotherapy intervention (p=0.123). The result shows that 14 sessions of hippotherapy had a positive effect on static and dynamic balance of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, with improvement in balance systems and physical statue, especially flexibility and strength, but shows no specific changes in the score of reaction time.
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M. Goldberg
2016/2017
Learning and Psychoeducation
PROBLEM: Cultivating mindfulness and empathy skills in physicians can reduce medical error, improve accuracy of diagnoses, and improve patient compliance (...
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PROBLEM: Cultivating mindfulness and empathy skills in physicians can reduce medical error, improve accuracy of diagnoses, and improve patient compliance (Beach, et al., 2013). There is a debate among medical educators as to whether these skills can be taught. INTERVENTION: The Medicine and Horsemanship (M&H) program (Kane, 2007) uses equine- assisted learning (EAL) to teach emotional wellbeing and communication skills to medical students. This program is being used at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine (UCF COM). For this study, all participants completed pre- and post-intervention surveys including: Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and Experiences Questionnaire (EQ), which measured mindfulness, while the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) measured empathy. In addition, the intervention group completed a qualitative survey and debrief data was collected. OUTCOME: Medical students who completed the M&H program had significantly higher post-intervention mindfulness scores in the subscales of nonreactivity and decentering, compared to controls. The M&H program is an innovative method for improving mindfulness among medical students. LESSONS LEARNED: With ten students per cohort, several iterations of the program would be necessary for significant analysis of outcomes. Due to the relatively small number of volunteers, participants could not be randomly assigned. Analysis of baseline differences did not show significant differences between intervention and controls, adding strength to our conclusions.
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V. Lac
2015
Therapeutic Riding
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with a wide range of functional impairments that can cause multiple challenges to the...
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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with a wide range of functional impairments that can cause multiple challenges to the daily lives of affected families. The impact of therapeutic riding lessons on families with children diagnosed with ASD is discussed in this paper. Through the exploration of the key stressors on these families, a case study is used to illustrate the benefits of therapeutic riding for the whole family. Therapeutic riding engages these children cognitively, emotionally, and physically and has the potential to improve their social and verbal skills as well as increase their sensory processing tolerance. This, in turn, improves their ability to tolerate changes in their routine, communicate within their family, and improve parent-child and sibling relationships whilst increasing the family’s sense of freedom.
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I. Tonteri
2015
Mental Health
Aggression is a natural part of living but aggressive behavior is often a sign of inadequate skills emotion management and...
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Aggression is a natural part of living but aggressive behavior is often a sign of inadequate skills emotion management and insufficient social skills. Aggression education, psychosocial education about aggression, is connected to emotional skills education and psychosocial growth. The purpose of this study was to explore how equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) can be incorporated into aggression education with an emphasis on children and adolescents. Literature specifically about aggression education and equine assisted activities and therapies is scarce. A secondary purpose was to create a dialog between different scientific theories and equine-assisted work. Results of this exploration indicate that equine-assisted work as a form of aggression education has many potential elements. These elements are: positive physical sensations and body awareness; synchrony of being and moving; motivation; empathy training; encountering feelings of disappointment and overcoming them; forming a potential space; creating positive interactions and feelings of connectedness. Very few therapeutic or educational interventions can combine these psychosocial and psychomotoric elements.
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J. Johnson, N. Nicholson & K. Potoczak
2015
Therapeutic Riding
Two case studies examined the impact of therapeutic riding on behavior change in two children with autism. Two children participated...
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Two case studies examined the impact of therapeutic riding on behavior change in two children with autism. Two children participated in six weekly sessions of therapeutic riding lessons, which were tailored to the specific needs of each child. Communicative and motor behaviors were assessed before and after each session using relevant portions of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS). In addition, direct observations of communicative behaviors were undertaken during each lesson. After six weeks of therapeutic riding, no significant changes were found for the CARS. Both children showed improvement on the VABS with regard to communication and motor skill development. Frequency of clear communications increased in both children across lessons.
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E. Donner & N. Ekholm-Fry
2015
Equine Studies
Practitioners who provide services with horses that involve human-horse interactions operate in a complex environment. When horses are specifically...
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Practitioners who provide services with horses that involve human-horse interactions operate in a complex environment. When horses are specifically included to promote human mental health and wellbeing, it seems particularly important that the practitioner has extensive knowledge of equine ethology, including how horses learn and the principles of ethologically sound training. Therapy horses interact with clients whose main purpose is not to learn specific handling practices but to gain personal insight through their relationship and interactions with the horse. When designing sessions or overseeing client activities, practitioners need to take care to not intentionally create distressing situations for the horse. Poor preparation for work role, lack of consistent conditioning or lack of appropriate training can inadvertently create high-risk, high- stress situations for clients and horses. We propose that knowledge of learning theory, which explains how horses learn through common learning processes such as habituation and sensitization, and classical and operant (instrumental) conditioning, is central to ethical interaction with the therapy horse, effective client services, and appropriate risk management for all involved in the session.
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C. Page
2014
Learning and Psychoeducation
This quantitative exploratory study examined how therapeutic riding affects the emotional and social behaviors and symptoms of children aged 5...
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This quantitative exploratory study examined how therapeutic riding affects the emotional and social behaviors and symptoms of children aged 5 to 12, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of participants in the intervention group (n = 8) and comparison group (n = 5) completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Participants in the intervention group received 15 weeks of continuous therapeutic riding, which consisted of one 30-minute session per week. Comparison group participants received a multidisciplinary educational approach. The guiding research question was: Does therapeutic riding have a beneficial effect on the social and emotional lives of children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, as assessed by the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and the Sensory Profile (SP)? Results revealed statistically significant positive changes pretest-posttest for the intervention group in social and emotional functioning in the forms of increased social communication, social interactions, reciprocal social skills, communication skills, and multisensory integration in social situations; and a decrease in autistic mannerisms, restricted and repetitive behaviors. Results for the comparison group also showed a significant increase in social and emotional coping strategies and a decrease in sensory-seeking behaviors to self-stimulate. The preliminary results from this study support evidence in the field that therapeutic riding can be an efficacious treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder. Due to the exploratory nature of this study, further studies are needed to evaluate the specific therapeutic effects of therapeutic riding has for children with autism.
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L. Bassette and S. Templin
2014
Learning and Psychoeducation
The purpose of this study was to measure academic engagement behavior in students with disabilities during an equine-based math...
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The purpose of this study was to measure academic engagement behavior in students with disabilities during an equine-based math curriculum compared to the traditional special education math curriculum. A repeated measures within subjects design was used to examine level of academic engagement and off-task behavior in six students with disabilities during an equine based functional math curriculum at an equine assisted activity center (i.e., curriculum that includes live horses and horse materials) compared to traditional mathematics instruction at school (i.e., no live horses or horse materials). Student behavior was recorded using the Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS) code (Shapiro, 1996). Results indicate that students displayed a higher frequency of engagement during the equine-based curriculum. Areas for future research including effectively utilizing animals in special education curricula and the role of animal assisted interventions in learning are discussed.
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