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Acquiring stakeholder input on the clinical usefulness of measuring outcomes of therapeutic horseback riding


Therapeutic riding (TR) is a recreational activity which provides mounted and ground-based horsemanship opportunities adapted to the abilities of the participants Click or tap here to enter text.. TR provides physical and psychological benefits to participants with diverse disabilities, including physical, developmental, cognitive, and age-related disabilities, promoting higher quality of life (QoL); however, certified therapeutic riding instructors (CTRIs) and centers are limited in their capacity to implement outcome assessments and report the benefits of their community-based TR programs to a broad audience due to credentialing requirements, time restraints, and limited financial resources. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify whether and how TR professionals are currently measuring participant outcomes; benefits and barriers to implementing standardized assessments in TR; and characteristics which would make TR assessments clinically useful in the community TR environment. To address this purpose, we conducted a computer-based survey among TR stakeholders. We identified that while TR professionals measure outcomes among their participants, they typically do not use standardized assessments. Benefits of implementing standardized assessments included bolstering the TR profession, acquiring funding, and communicating about TR services with a broad audience. Barriers to implementing standardized assessments included time, systemic, and expertise constraints. Respondents reported that standardized assessments should be relevant to all age groups and populations who receive TR services. Finally, our respondents reported that for standardized assessments to be clinically useful, they would need to be low-cost (free or $1 – 2 per use), require less than 20 minutes, and available in either paper or computer format. This study revealed that standardized assessments may be a strong support to the TR profession; however, assessments must meet the needs of TR providers in the community.


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Embargo expires: 12/29/2024.


equine therapy
PATH International
therapeutic riding instructor
equine-assisted services
adaptive riding
therapeutic riding


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