Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not hippotherapy is effective in reducing fall risk in patients diagnosed with a stroke.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English language randomized controlled trials (RCTs) between 2006-recent.

DATA SOURCES: Three non-blind RCTs published and obtained from PubMed.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Each RCT measured balance by either using the Berg Balance Scale or the Bio Rescue (an analysis system with biofeedback).

RESULTS: All three articles found that hippotherapy significantly improved the balance of patients diagnosed with a stroke, when compared to the traditional physical therapy treatments of treadmill walking, performing trunk exercises with a swiss ball, and utilizing neurodevelopmental techniques.

CONCLUSION: Based on the articles included in this EBM, hippotherapy is an effective treatment in reducing the fall risk in patients diagnosed with a stroke.