Examining the Literature on the Efficacy of Equine Assisted Therapy for People with Mental Health and Behavioural Disorders

Abstract

This review aims to explore the literature relating to the efficacy of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) during which horses are used as a tool for emotional growth and learning helping adults and children with mental health and behavioural problems, such as mood disorders, addictive behaviours and communication difficulties. EAT arose during the 1970s, when alternatives to traditional talking therapies were created. A search for relevant literature was undertaken, using electronic and manual search strategies. The data bases used included, CINAHL, MEDLINE, AMED and INTERSCIENCE. It was evident that there was limited research-based literature within the UK compared with the USA. However, magazine articles, reporting opinions and case studies, originating from Canada and Northern Europe, were found useful and informative. The literature revealed promising results in the use of EAT in increasing positive and reducing negative behaviours as well as in proving beneficial for those suffering from general mental health problems. The review also indicates the need for further research and discusses its implication for practice.

How to Cite

Cantin A. & Marshall-Lucette S. (2011) “Examining the Literature on the Efficacy of Equine Assisted Therapy for People with Mental Health and Behavioural Disorders”, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. 8(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/mhldrp.2011.8151

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Anna Cantin
Sylvie Marshall-Lucette

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