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Effect of Horse Riding on Balancing Ability in Children with Cerebral Palsy

  • Kang, Ok-Deuk (Division of Biotechnology, Jeju National University) ;
  • Kang, Min-Soo (Division of Biotechnology, Jeju National University) ;
  • Kang, An-Na (Physical Therapist, Notre Dame Rehabilitation Center)
  • Received : 2012.05.10
  • Accepted : 2012.06.14
  • Published : 2012.06.30

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate the effect of a horse riding program on balancing ability in children with cerebral palsy. Eleven children (five males and six females) diagnosed with cerebral palsy participated. The horse riding exercises (walking and trotting) were conducted twice per week for 30 minutes during 24 weeks. Balancing ability was measured three times at pre, mid, and post-test using an air pad by the same physical therapist. The data were analyzed using a two-way repeated-measures analysis of covariance with time (0, 12, and 24 weeks) using SPSS version 18.0. A comparison of horse riding between patients with hemiplegia and paraplegia was conducted with the Willcoxon signed-ranktest at a predetermined probability rate of 5%. The results showed a significant increase in balancing ability after horse riding than that before horse riding (p<0.01). The average balancing score increased greater in males ($54.59{\pm}84.05$) than that in females ($27.84{\pm}12.67$) after the horse riding exercise program compared to that before the program (p < 0.05). Thus, horse riding exercise was considered an effective to improve balance in children with cerebral palsy. These results provide useful basic data for horse riding for the disabled.

Keywords

Cerebral palsy;Equine assisted therapy;Rehabilitation;Horse riding

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