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Clinical Trial Summary

The purpose of the research project was to assess changes in Posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] symptoms, quality of life and participation of combat veteran who participate in equine assisted activities [EAA]. The study used a mixed-methods, waitlist-controlled, repeated measures trial of a standardized 8-week therapeutic riding intervention for combat veterans with PTSD. Behavioral changes were assessed four times during the study. Veterans meeting inclusion criteria were selected to participate in either the intervention group or the control/waitlist group.

Clinical Trial Description

The research design was a quasi-experimental trial using mixed methods. Veterans recruited to a treatment group or a waitlist control group. Both qualitative and quantitative data was collected to assess changes. Qualitative data was collected post-intervention and quantitative data was collected at baseline, mid-intervention, post-intervention and 2-month follow-up.

A total of 125 veterans were recruited for the study. Eighty-nine met inclusion criteria.

Five therapeutic riding facilities will be utilized for this study: Ride On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.), Georgetown, Texas; Riding Equines to Achieve Confidence and Health (R.E.A.C.H.), McGregor, Texas; Texas A&M Systems Courtney Grimshaw Fowler Equine Therapeutic Riding Center (Courtney Cares), College Station, Texas; Triple H, Cripple Creek, Texas, and Rainier Therapeutic Riding, Yelm, Washington. Two of the sites (R.O.C.K. and Rainier TR) are Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International [PATHIntl] premier accredited facilities, one (R.E.A.C.H.) is reaching premier status, and one (Courtney Cares) is under the direction of the research director at R.O.C.K. All four sites have existing Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship [PATH] Equine for Service Members programs and the staff is experienced with the veteran population. Five sites were needed to ensure adequate sample size for the study.

EAA Protocol

The eight week EAA program followed the same protocol at all five testing sites with riding instructors and staff using a standardized curriculum, Rainier Therapeutic Riding's Riding Through Recovery. Baseline assessments was conducted for all participants in both the EAA group and the wait-list group. The EAA program consisted of eight, 90 minute weekly lessons. The first few lessons focused on developing a relationship between the horse and the participant without riding. The last two lessons included riding instruction if the participant chooses to ride. The PTSD Checklist- Military [PCL-M] and PTSD Checklist-5 [PCL-5] were administered pre and post as well as 2 months following the program. The Short Form Health Survey [SF-36v2], World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 [WHODAS-2.0] and the Major Depression Inventory [MDI] were completed before beginning the program, at four weeks (mid-treatment), post-treatment and 2 months follow-up. Open-ended questions were completed post-treatment. The wait-list group participated in treatment as usual (TAU) and was assessed using the same instruments and time sequence with the exception of the post-treatment open-ended questions and the 2 month follow-up. After the first eight weeks, the wait-list group participated in the EAA intervention. ;

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT02893202
Study type Interventional
Source Baylor University
Status Completed
Phase N/A
Start date August 2013
Completion date June 2016

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