Occupational Therapists and Therapeutic Riding

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Statistics indicate that physical therapists considerably outnumber occupational therapists in utilizing therapeutic horseback riding as a treatment modality. This study was conducted in an effort to gain insight into the reasons for the discrepancy. Two different questionnaires were developed and distributed to two different populations, occupational therapy practitioners, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) accredited schools offering occupational therapy programs. Three hundred and twenty-four occupational therapy (OT) practitioners responded to a questionnaire about their knowledge and interest in therapeutic horseback riding (THR). These practitioners included both registered occupational therapists (OTR) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTA) in the United States, who were randomly selected from a mailing list obtained through the AOTA. The first questionnaire addressed the research question, “Why are there so few occupational therapy practitioners involved in therapeutic horseback riding?” The most frequent response cited by OT practitioners was a lack of horse knowledge, followed closely by a lack of time. Additionally, 181 schools offering occupational therapy programs responded to a questionnaire addressing the research question, “Do AOTA approved occupational therapy programs include therapeutic horseback riding as a treatment option in their curriculum?” The most frequent manner in which THR was included in a curriculum was through informal discussion or student presentation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279300786999806

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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