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Hippotherapy to Improve the Balance of Children With Movement Disorders (HPOT)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01313325
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 11, 2011
Last Update Posted : March 11, 2011
Information provided by:
Central Michigan University

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine if adding hippotherapy treatment will improve balance for children ages 5-17 who have disabilities such as cerebral palsy and down syndrome. We also want to find out if by improving their balance the children increase their participation in age appropriate activities.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Neuromuscular Diseases Cerebral Palsy Down Syndrome Autism Developmental Coordination Disorder Other: Hippotherapy Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
The primary purpose of this study is to determine the effects of hippotherapy on the balance of children with developmental disorders that cause mild to moderate balance problems. The secondary purpose is to determine if the use of hippotherapy also improves perceived functional abilities and thus quality of life as measured by the pediatric balance scale and Activities Scale for Kids (respectively)

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 16 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Hippotherapy to Improve Balance Deficits in a Cohort of Children With Movement Disorders: A Pilot Study
Study Start Date : September 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2007

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Treatment group
Children between 5-17 years who have balance deficits related to any movement disorder (preferably neuromuscular)
Other: Hippotherapy
Children will receive treatment by a licensed physical therapist using hippotherapy as the treatment strategy. This includes sitting on a horse who's movement is controlled by a horse leader, with the PT directing the movements required of the horse, as well as supplying supplemental cues to the participant. Alternative positions (such as sitting backward and sideways) may also be used during the treatment session.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Pediatric Balance Scale [ Time Frame: 8-9 weeks ]
    The Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) is a standardized 14 item test of various component activities related to balance. It is a modified child version of the adult Berg Balance Scale. The PBS has high total score test-retest reliability of ICC (3,1) =0.998, as well as good interrater reliability (ICC(3,1) = 0.997).1

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Activities Scale for Kids [ Time Frame: 8-9 weeks ]
    Activities Scale for Kids - Participation (ASKp) is a self-administered 30 item questionaire that measures the impact of children's disability to overall function and participation within relevant environments. It correlates well with parent reports on the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (r=0.81, p<0.000) and clinician observations of children's function (ICC=0.92, p<0.000).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   5 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • between the ages of 5 and 17
  • have a neuromuscular diagnosis or confirmed difficulties with balance
  • be able to stand 4 seconds without an assistive device
  • be able to follow testing instructions
  • must be under 250 pounds
  • be able to attend a minimum 10/12 sessions.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • any compounding orthopedic or medical condition not related to the primary developmental diagnosis.
  • previous hippotherapy intervention or therapeutic riding experience
  • allergies or aversion to horses.
  • refusal of parents to sign the therapeutic riding center's liability release form
  • any new treatments (includes therapies, drugs, or other complementary treatments) within one month of the start of the study or plans for new treatments during the intervention period
  • lack of a physician referral for physical therapy

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01313325

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United States, Michigan
CHUM Therapeutic Riding Center
Dansville, Michigan, United States, 48854
Sponsors and Collaborators
Central Michigan University
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Principal Investigator: Debbie J Silkwood-Sherer, PT, DHS Central Michigan University

Additional Information:
Publications of Results:
Silkwood-Sherer D. Hippotherapy as an Intervention to Improve Postural Control of Children with Movement Disorders. Dev Med Child Neurol 51(S5):18-19, 2009 [abstract]

Other Publications:
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Dr. Debbie Silkwood-Sherer, Central Michigan University Identifier: NCT01313325     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 09/14/2006
First Posted: March 11, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 11, 2011
Last Verified: March 2011
Keywords provided by Central Michigan University:
neuromuscular disorders
balance deficits
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Movement Disorders
Neuromuscular Diseases
Motor Skills Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Chromosome Disorders
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Cerebral Palsy
Down Syndrome
Pathologic Processes
Brain Damage, Chronic
Intellectual Disability
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Abnormalities, Multiple
Congenital Abnormalities