Effectiveness of Equine Assisted Activities or Therapies in relation to mental illness and mental disorders - a review

Damian Bator, Magdalena Jańczyk, Ilona Samek, Magdalena Wójcik, Justyna Dąbrowska, Urszula Łopuszańska

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/JEHS.2020.10.06.033


Introduction and purpose: the Terminology Guidelines of the American Hippotherapy Association defines Equine Assisted Activities or Therapies (EAA/T) as a collection of different forms of contact between man and horse. EAA/T have become increasingly common interventions in the last decade, demonstrating therapeutic benefits in various areas of mental health. The aim of this report is to identify the forms and programmes of EAA/T that are used and to summarise and assess the latest available evidences of their clinical effectiveness in the treatment of symptoms of mental ilness and disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome or schizophrenia. In order to achieve the above mentioned objectives, a literature review has been conducted to summarise existing evidence relating to the subject matter of the study in a descriptive manner.
Description of the state of knowledge: 13 findings were found in autism spectrum disorders (1 review paper and 5 research papers), post-traumatic stress syndrome (1 review paper and 4 research papers), schizophrenia (1 review paper), and children whose parents were addicted (1 research paper).
Summary: the results of the research indicate that Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAA/T), including horse riding, may be beneficial for people with mental illnesses and disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome, schizophrenia, and for people whose parents were addicted.


hippotherapy; equine assisted; mental ilness

Full Text:



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1223 Journal of Education, Health and Sport eISSN 2391-8306 7

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