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The Impact of Equine-Assisted Therapy Rehabilitation Modalities on Perceived Psychosocial Functioning and Quality of Life

A convergent mixed methods study was completed examining participants’ perceived effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy (EAT) in regard to psychosocial functioning and quality of life. A total of 52 participants completed a quantitative survey and seven of them completed a qualitative interview using a phenomenological research approach. The aim of this study was to determine how participation in EAT affected participants’ perceptions of their quality of life. Participants generally reported benefits in psychosocial outcomes including self-esteem, confidence, independence, and social skills. Furthermore, participants reported quality of life benefits including anxiety, depression, stress, well-being, self-care, hope, and trust. Reports of improvements in depression, confidence, and stress levels significantly differed with age, where adults generally saw greater improvements in depression, p = .006, t (21.662) = 4.048, g = 1.14, CI 95% [0.391, 2.229] and confidence outcomes (27.2 years vs. 8 years old), p = .046, W = 7.50, rbc = 0.847, CI 95% [0.398, 0.969] over younger participants. Associations were found between the length of time in weeks participating in all of the forms of EAT and improvements in independence, p = .024, rt (52) = .213 and social skills, p = .037, rt (52) = .222. Associations were also found between the length of time in weeks participating in all of the forms of EAT and improvements in independence, p = .024, rt (52) = .213 and social skills, p = .037, rt (52) = .222. Finally, a logistic regression analysis revealed that an increase in age was associated with increased likelihood of reporting improvements in depression symptoms, where every year older a participant is, their likelihood of reporting improvements in depression symptoms increases by 11%, X2 (32) = 8.174, p = .043. Themes of increased emotional regulation, increased confidence, and the influence of the context and environment were determined through the qualitative data. Results from both the quantitative and qualitative data show a positive impact on the participants’ overall quality of life and psychosocial skills.

Equine-Assisted Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychosocial, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Quality of Life, Self-Confidence, Therapeutic Riding

APA Style

Madison Collins, Victoria Courtright, Mary Casilio, Caleigh Haskiell, Elizabeth Kaspala, et al. (2023). The Impact of Equine-Assisted Therapy Rehabilitation Modalities on Perceived Psychosocial Functioning and Quality of Life. Rehabilitation Science, 8(2), 30-38. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.rs.20230802.13

ACS Style

Madison Collins; Victoria Courtright; Mary Casilio; Caleigh Haskiell; Elizabeth Kaspala, et al. The Impact of Equine-Assisted Therapy Rehabilitation Modalities on Perceived Psychosocial Functioning and Quality of Life. Rehabil. Sci. 2023, 8(2), 30-38. doi: 10.11648/j.rs.20230802.13

AMA Style

Madison Collins, Victoria Courtright, Mary Casilio, Caleigh Haskiell, Elizabeth Kaspala, et al. The Impact of Equine-Assisted Therapy Rehabilitation Modalities on Perceived Psychosocial Functioning and Quality of Life. Rehabil Sci. 2023;8(2):30-38. doi: 10.11648/j.rs.20230802.13

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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