The Effect of Riding as an Alternative Treatment for Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Guoqin Wang, Ruiqin Ma, Guangwei Qiao, Koji Wada, Yoshiharu Aizawa, Toshihiko Satoh
2015 Integrative Medicine International  
and Objectives: There is a substantial body of evidence assessing the effects of equine-assisted therapy on physiological and psychological aspects of individuals with disabilities. This study aimed to evaluate the physiological benefits of this alternative therapy for children with cerebral palsy (CP) by means of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: This systematic review included all randomized and nonrandomized clinical trials of hippotherapy (HT), therapeutic horse riding (THR),
more » ... orse riding (THR), and artificial saddle (AS) for the treatment of children with CP by a systematic search in Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library, and other databases up to November 2012. Articles were assessed for inclusion eligibility and quality by two independent reviewers. Any discordant case was re-reviewed and consensus was obtained after sufficient discussion. A random effects model of meta-analysis was applied to provide summary statistics for each outcome. Results: Seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 4 non-RCTs, and 7 self-controlled studies were included for quality assessment. Ten studies assessed the effect of HT, 5 evaluated THR, and 3 evaluated AS. The sample size differed from 3 to 72, and the quality ranged from low to moderate. Six studies were included in the meta-analysis, and there was a significant improvement in the 66-item Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66), the GMFM-66/88 total score, and the dimension E of the GMFM. Although the asymmetry score tended to be reduced, it failed to reach statistical significance. Conclusions: HT, THR, and AS seem to improve the total score of the gross motor
doi:10.1159/000368408 fatcat:jfp7qmzwfbadbf5rtsr2ygoryy