The Effect of Hippotherapy and Dolphin Assisted Therapy on Neurosensorimotor Skills of Patients with Depressive Disorders
Keywords:dolphin assisted therapy, hippotherapy, neurosensorimotor skills, depression
The aim of this research was to analyse the effect of the hippotherapy and the dolphin assisted therapy on neurosensorimotor skills of patients with depressive disorders. 37 individuals with depressive disorders, including 22 per cent (8) of males and 78 per cent (27) of females, took part in the research. The average age of the surveyed was 42.8 years (SD=13.36; MIN=18 yrs; MAX=73 yrs). All participants were diagnosed with depression, classified as mood (affective) disorders (F30-F39) or organic and symptomatic mental disorders (F00-F09). People with depressive disorders participated in two programmes of 10 therapies: 1) the patients participated in the dolphin assisted therapy every day for 30 minutes and the neurosensorimotor programme (for 2 weeks in total) was applied additionally; 2) hippotherapy was applied two times per week for 30 minutes each time (5 weeks in total). The research data was collected: by using the Instrument for Neurosensorimotor Assessment copyrighted by B. Kreivinienė and D. Mocekvičienė, the psychosocial assessment form “Chandler” for animal assisted therapy activities, the patient survey General Distress Symptom Scale.
The questionnaire DASS-21 and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) were used. All assessment instruments were used before and after the animal assisted therapy. The research results revealed that when applying the animal assisted therapy the psychosocial functions are being improved the most: a statistically significant change and a strong correlation relationship between initial and final assessment were found. The research results demonstrated that the selected therapy had no effect on the change in the results..