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Effects of hippotherapy on level of trunk control in children with cerebral palsy and its relation to functional balance

Grant number: 15/10388-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Raquel de Paula Carvalho
Grantee:Thatiane Seixas Luz
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


Cerebral Palsy can be defined as the set of changes coming from a non-progressive brain impairment that occurs during the anatomical and physiological maturation period of central nervous system, primarily featuring a persistent change, but not stable tone, posture and movement. Hippotherapy is a technique that utilizes the three-dimensional movements of the horse as a therapeutic intervention, improving posture, balance, and mobility of the patient. The literature shows that the deficit in the trunk control and consequent dysfunction of postural control is seen as major disturbances in cerebral palsy and directly affects the movements and functional activities. Therefore, this study evaluate the effects of hippotherapy on level of trunk control in children with cerebral palsy and its relation with the functional balance. This study will include a convenience sample of at least 10 children with cerebral palsy, levels I to IV of Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). Children will be evaluated through Segmental Assessment Scale of Trunk Control (SATCo) that evaluates the level of trunk control, and the Pediatric Reach Test to evaluate the functional balance. After 16 sessions of hippotherapy, children will be reassessed by the same method. Descriptive analysis followed by the comparison between the initial and final assessments through the t-Student test will be performed with 5% of significant level. This study can provide more solid pillars for the physical therapy interventions based on evidences. (AU)

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