Status-post cerebellar ganglioglioma removal

Case report: Effects of hippotherapy on balance and functional performance in a child with a neurological disorder

Knueven L, Collins, Jamieson J, Hakim RM, Sensbach K

Pediatric Physical Therapy (2005) 


The purpose of this case report was to examine the effectiveness of an established hippotherapy program for improving balance and function in a child with a neurological disorder using objective, clinical tests and measures.


The patient showed improvements on all outcome measures, with the exception of midpoint scores which were inconsistent. She scored a 49/56 on the PBS at baseline, which remained unchanged at discharge and follow-up. She improved on all timed items on the PBS, demonstrating the greatest improvement in tandem stance, which increased from 3.6 seconds at baseline to 5.6 seconds at discharge, and 8.2 seconds at follow-up. The Biodex Dynamic Limits of Stability scores improved from 33/100 at baseline to 34/100 at discharge, and 38/100 at follow-up. She also improved in self and caregiver perceived functional abilities as indicated by 39% to 56% gains on COPM scores for tasks such as walking, negotiating stairs, and endurance.


Hippotherapy was effective at improving outcomes in this child on selected balance and functional performance measures. Although the balance score gains were not large, the COPM indicated larger improvements in perceived functional status based on patient and/or caregiver developed goals. More research is needed to determine the best outcome measures for determining the effects of hippotherapy.