HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Using Therapeutic Riding as an Intervention for Combat Veterans: An International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) Approach

Article

The aim of the study was to examine the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on posttraumatic stress symptoms, quality of life, and functioning of combat veterans.  The study findings revealed clinically significant decrease in PTSD symptoms, improved social functioning, vitality, less interference of emotions on daily activities, and increased participation. Qualitative themes discovered included improved confidence, trust, acceptance of self and others, and gratitude.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on posttraumatic stress symptoms, quality of life, and functioning of combat veterans using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) as a framework. Fifty-one veterans and active duty service members participated in an 8-week therapeutic riding program. The study findings revealed clinically significant decrease in PTSD symptoms, improved social functioning, vitality, less interference of emotions on daily activities, and increased participation. Qualitative themes discovered included improved confidence, trust, acceptance of self and others, and gratitude. Qualitative and quantitative data linked to the ICF components.

Full Reference

Lanning, B.A., Wilson, A.L., Krenek, N., Beaujean, A.A. 2017. Using Therapeutic Riding as an Intervention for Combat Veterans: An International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) Approach. Military Behavioral Health, 33(3), pp.259-278.