Oral Communication

Does hippotherapy improve motor function in children with cerebral palsy? systematic review.

Dr Eric PANTERAa, Dr Didier VERNAYb, Prof Vincent GAUTHERONc, Prof Isabelle LAFFONTd, Dr Manuel GAVIRIAe

a CRF de Montrodat, b CHU Clermont Ferrand, c CHU Saint Etienne, d CHU Montpelier, e Institut d'hippothérapie Equiphoria

Objective:To perform a systematic review of the literature regarding hippotherapy in children with cerebral palsy.

Method:The research in Medline and Cochrane Library databases was performed using the keywords: « Equestrian therapy », « Riding for the disabled », « Hippotherapy», « Equine-movement therapy», « Therapeutic horse (back) riding ». The methodological quality of the articles was assessed using four levels of evidence and three guideline grades (A: strong B: moderate C: poor).

Result:Six prospective randomized controlled studies confirm the level of evidence of hippotherapy and/or Instructor-directed recreational horseback riding therapy (HBRT) in children with cerebral palsy with grade B. Hippotherapy and/or HBRT in children with cerebral palsy contributes to improve motor function, symmetry of muscle contraction, spasticity, posture and walking. Ten prospective no randomized studies confirm the level with grade C for balance, motor coordination, lumbo-pelvic flexibility, walking speed, and social behavior.

Conclusion:The level of evidence of hippotherapy in children with cerebral palsy is moderate (no grade A studies and six grade B studies).

Keywords : Keywords: hippotherapy, equestrian therapy, therapeutic horse (back) riding, cerebral palsy, literature review evidence based, rehabilitation.