The multifactorial nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the reason why complementary and alternative methods of treatment are sought in order to support the classic approach.
The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) in ASD patients based on a review of the literature.
A review of the literature and a meta-analysis were conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. PUBMED, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov and PEDro databases were searched until July 20, 2017. Only articles published in English, in a journal with a review process, after 1999, with a control group or presentation of comparative pre-/post-therapy results in ASD patients, and clear inclusion/exclusion criteria were considered. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies (QATQS).The meta-analysis of three studies was conducted.
A total of 15 studies with 390 participants (aged: 3-16 years) were included. The interaction between psychosocial functioning and EAAT was investigated in most studies. Improvement was reported in the following domains: socialization, engagement, maladaptive behaviors, and shorter reaction time in problem-solving situations after EAAT. The meta-analysis revealed no statistically significant differences for the investigated effects.
Despite the need for further, more standardized research, the results of the studies included in this review allow us to conclude that EAAT may be a useful form of therapy in children with ASD. Copyright © 2018 The Authors
Oversett med Google Translate