A critical appraisal of "Improving gross motor function and postural control with hippotherapy in children with Down syndrome: case reports"

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2020-11

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Gamble, Jarika

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Abstract

The goal of this paper was to critically appraise the article "Improving gross motor function and postural control with hippotherapy in children with Down syndrome: Case reports."� A thorough breakdown of each section of the article determined that using hippotherapy as a therapeutic intervention potentially has many strengths, however it is accompanied by a number of weaknesses. One of the main limitations surrounding this field of study is the lack of existing literature on hippotherapy as an intervention in general, and its application for Down syndrome subjects even more so. The other big limitation was the small subject group and therefore lack of control group. These limitations were addressed and adjustments were made through the study to ensure accurate and reliable testing measures were performed. The researchers provided strength to the paper by being organized, very clear and detailed within each section, and adequately carrying the information through the entirety of the article. The hypothesis and aims of the study were clearly discussed through the article, the methods were organized and clearly described, and the supplemental graphs accurately depicted the results and outcomes of the intervention. This study showed that hippotherapy was an adequate intervention to improve gross motor function and increase postural control within Down syndrome children. Despite limitations, further studies could be performed using this study method to validate further the use of hippotherapy as a therapeutic intervention.

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