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Therapeutic Horsemanship in Veterans

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02891421
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 7, 2016
Last Update Posted : September 7, 2016
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital
Horses and Humans Research Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Rebecca Johnson, University of Missouri-Columbia

Brief Summary:
The project partnered with U.S. military veterans with a premier accredited therapeutic riding center for six weeks. The veterans interacted with horses by grooming and learning about them, as well as riding them for one hour per week during which they gained a variety of skills. We hoped the veterans would experience a reduction in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression, and loneliness, while improving their social and emotional health and self-efficacy.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Traumatic Brain Injury Behavioral: Therapeutic Horseback Riding Other: Standard Care Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Large numbers of post-deployed U.S. veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury make effective interventions urgent, to reduce symptoms and increase veterans' coping. PTSD includes anxiety, flashbacks, and emotional numbing. Symptoms expand health care costs for stress-related illnesses making veterans' civilian life difficult.

The proposed study used a randomized experimental design with repeated measures and waitlist control group testing the efficacy of a 6-week human-horse interaction and systematic therapeutic horseback riding program in: decreasing PTSD symptoms, increasing coping self efficacy, emotion regulation, and social engagement. The Riding Group spent one hour weekly interacting with and riding the same horse at one of two PATH-accredited riding centers in Mid-Missouri supervised by an Occupational Therapist, Profession Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International-certified instructor, leader and side walkers as needed. Riding was directed by a systematic lesson plan. Data collection occured at baseline, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks. The Control Group was assessed at the same intervals and again 3 weeks and 6 weeks after joining the Riding Group.


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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 38 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Effects of Equine Assisted Activities on PTSD Symptoms, Coping Self-efficacy, Emotion Regulation, and Social Engagement in U.S. Military Veterans
Study Start Date : May 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Therapeutic Horseback Riding: Veterans were matched to a horse by the instructor and occupational therapist for best fit and the same horse was ridden each week
Behavioral: Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Veterans were matched to a horse for best fit and the same horse was ridden each week. The warm-up exercises involved various repeated physical movements while the horse was walking or standing steady, such as head rotations, lifting arms, rotating ankles, flexing toes. The exercises began with riding at a walk during the early weeks, learning reining skills and riding positions, and progressed to light trotting. Veteran participants were able to build on skill sets related to grooming, tacking, mounting, and riding that were introduced in prior weeks. Skill progression was based on individual abilities and safety as determined by certified riding instructor and occupational therapist.

Standard Care
Participants received standard care.
Other: Standard Care
Standard Care: Participants received standard care




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Coping Self-Efficacy Scale (CSES) [ Time Frame: Day 1, 3 weeks and 6 weeks ]
    26 item, 11 point analog scale

  2. Change in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Military Version (PCL-M) [ Time Frame: Day 1, 3 weeks and 6 weeks ]
    17 item, 5 point scale


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Social and Emotional Loneliness Scale for Adults (SELSA) scale [ Time Frame: Day 1, 3 weeks and 6 weeks ]
    15 item, 7 point Likert-type scale.

  2. Change in Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS) [ Time Frame: Day 1, 3 weeks and 6 weeks ]
    36 item, 5 point Likert-type scale



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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age 18 years or older
  • Veterans, left active military service (not serving in reserve units.)
  • Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Traumatic Brain Injury or both according to ICD-9 diagnostic codes.
  • Weight less than 220 pounds.
  • Able to walk at least 25 feet without the assistance of a person (but potentially with assistive devices).
  • Willing to interact with and ride a horse.
  • Have not ridden a horse in the past year.
  • Care Provider assent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age less than 18 years
  • Veterans in active military service (including reserve units).
  • No diagnosis of PTSD/TBI or both according to ICD-9 diagnostic codes.
  • Weight greater than 221 pounds.
  • Unable to walk at least 25 feet without the assistance of a person (but potentially with assistive devices.)
  • Unwilling to interact with and ride a horse.
  • Have been riding a horse in the past year.
  • Care Provider unwilling to provide assent

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 ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02891421


Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Missouri-Columbia
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital
Horses and Humans Research Foundation
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Rebecca A Johnson, PhD University of Missouri-Columbia

Publications:
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Responsible Party: Rebecca Johnson, Prinicipal Investigator, University of Missouri-Columbia
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02891421     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1207664-1
First Posted: September 7, 2016    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 7, 2016
Last Verified: September 2016

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Brain Injuries
Brain Injuries, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Craniocerebral Trauma
Trauma, Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries
Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders
Mental Disorders