The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate effects of a hippotherapy session on temporal and spatial gait parameters in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). Subjects comprised 9 children with a diagnosis of CP, 6 girls and 3 boys, 7 to 18 years of age. Data for temporal and spatial gait parameters were collected immediately before and after a hippotherapy session. No statistically significant differences were noted in the postride temporal and spatial gait parameter values when compared with the preride values.
This study provides baseline data for future research and useful clinical information for physical therapists using hippotherapy as a treatment modality for children with spastic CP. In addition, the present study provides some preliminary objective data on the immediate effects of a hippotherapy session on temporal and spatial gait parameters in children with CP. Although the findings of the current study did not reveal any statistically significant changes in temporal and spatial parameters immediately after a single hippotherapy session, the study results provide data not previously available in the literature and used more objective measures when compared with the measures used in previous studies.