Researchers in France have been awarded $US75,000 to study the effect and impact of equine-assisted services on people who have suffered a stroke.
The grant is the second for 2023 by the Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF). The study, Neurological rehabilitation through hippotherapy on the neurofunctional sequels of a brain stroke: (I) Effect on the functional independence, sensorimotor and cognitive capacities, and quality of life of the patients (II) Effect on quality of life of the caregivers, will be led by Dr Manuel Gaviria and the team from Equiphoria in southern France.
The objective of the study is to analyze the effect on the functional and global impact of a 22-week hippotherapy treatment on patients who have suffered a stroke resulting in moderate to severe disability.
A second purpose is to measure the impact of the intervention on the quality of life of their caregivers. The main evaluation criterion is the patient’s functional independence measured by a validated clinical score. Secondary evaluation criteria include the patient’s degree of functional disability, motor status, postural balance, gait performance, and quality of life. Quality of life and caregiver’s burden are also assessed.
The type of study proposed is a prospective randomized clinical trial on the effectiveness of hippotherapy (treatment group) versus conventional outpatient rehabilitation alone (control group). The program will be implemented during the first year after the stroke and will last one year for each patient.
The Equiphoria Institute of Neurorehabilitation and Hippotherapy is based in the town of La Canourgue, in the Lozère region.
Equiphoria’s Executive Director Helene Viruega said the institute was honoured to receive the grant. It is a great honor to receive this award. “It serves as a validation of our joint mission and effort to prove the powerful impact of EAT worldwide. Thank you to HHRF for this recognition and significant financial support.”
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