Literature on effects of equine therapy in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has grown in recent times.
Equine therapy is an alternative multimodal intervention that involves utilizing a horse to remediate core impairments in ASD.
Recent systematic reviews in this area have several limitations including inclusion of populations other than ASD, assessment of a variety of animal-assisted interventions other than equine therapy, and a failure to conduct quantitative analyses to provide accurate effect size estimates.
We conducted a focused systematic review to address these limitations.
Our review suggested that equine therapy has beneficial effects on behavioral and to some extent on social communication skills in ASD. The evidence for positive effects of equine therapy on perceptuo-motor, cognitive, and functional skills is currently limited.
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