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Fisioterapia e Pesquisa
Print version ISSN 1809-2950
SANCHES, Sissa Mara Nicodemo and VASCONCELOS, Luciana Auxiliadora de Paula. Hyppotherapy in meningoencephalocele rehabilitation: a case study. Fisioter. Pesqui. [online]. 2010, vol.17, n.4, pp. 358-361. ISSN 1809-2950. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-29502010000400014.
Hippotherapy is one among techniques used in rehabilitation of patients with neurological dysfunctions. The patient body's reactions to horse movements are known to have positive effects on patients' postural control, thus improving general mobility and motor functional performance. The purpose of this paper was to assess the effects of hippotherapy on balance, motor coordination, and functionality of a child with meningoencephalocele. A 3-and-a-half year-old girl with meningoencephalocele was submitted to 18 hippotherapy sessions (in a three- phase procedure - feeding, brushing, and riding) once a week. Outcome measures were obtained by means of the Berg and Tinetti balance scales and the Brazilian version of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (for general functional abilities), all applied before and after therapy, and at an 8-week follow-up assessment. Results showed the child's significantly improved balance and motor coordination, which reflected on functional movement control, basic for performing daily living activities. Functional gain was also perceived by the child's mother. This study provides a new insight into hippotherapy as a useful physical therapy modality for improving motor and functional ability of children with encephalocele.
Keywords : Encephalocele; Meningocele; Equine-assisted therapy; Postural balance; Psychomotor performance.