Effects of equine-assisted activities on attention and quality of life in children with cerebral palsy in a randomized trial: examining the comorbidity with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Attention problems and decreased quality of life are frequently accompanied in Cerebral Palsy (CP), which can negatively affect rehabilitation of physical disability. However, the majority of affected children remain untreated in the aspects of attention or psychosocial factors. Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) use horse as a therapeutic modality including grooming as well as mounted riding activities in which patients exercise and experience mounted stimulation. It is known to help improve attention in children with ADHD, so that it can be an exercise therapy that is expected to improvement of attention as well as rehabilitating effects in CP patients. EAA may be a promising strategy to address the unmet need for CP patients. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of EAA for children with CP, those with both CP and ADHD and confirm the comorbidity between CP and ADHD.Forty-six children with cerebral palsy participated in this study. For the exercise group, they participated in a 40-min session twice a week for a 16-week period, while the control group engaged in daily life without any special treatments. Each children individually were assessed on attention and psychological wellbeing at baseline and post-treatment. Comorbidity were identified based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5th edition (DSM-5) and confirmed by Korean Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL).Perseveration rated using the Conner’s Performance Test (CPT) showed a significant decrease only in the exercise group (p 

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Authors: Bomi Ahn, Yoo-Sook Joung, Jeong-Yi Kwon, Dong Ik Lee, Soohwan Oh, Byoung-Uk Kim, Jung Yoon Cha, Ji-Hae Kim, Ji Young Lee, Hye Yeon Shin, Yun Sik Seo