This study intended to examine the individual effect of hippotherapy on Physiological Cost Index and school activities in adolescents with diplegia. Ten adolescents with diplegia, aged 12 to 16 years, were studied. The results were not to be generalised to the broader cerebral palsy population.
A triangulation mixed method design was used. Within the quantitative part of the study, a single system multiple baseline design across subjects was implemented and in the qualitative part of the study, a semi-structured interview was used to determine effect of hippotherapy on school activities. Individual hippotherapy was conducted once a week over a 12-week period.
The effect of hippotherapy on physiological cost index was inconclusive, but the results obtained with regards to an increase in walking speed, were statistically significant.
Out of the qualitative research, three themes emerged as an effect of hippotherapy on school activities, namely improved rest and sleep, improved functional ambulation, and improved neuro-musculoskeletal functioning.
Dissertation (MOccTher)--University of Pretoria, 2015.