An Examination of The Status of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies In Recreation Therapy
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Equine assisted activities and therapies are becoming a popular form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the field of recreation therapy (RT). Equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) is a term that encompasses a variety of equine-related interventions such as equine-assisted therapy (EAT), equine-assisted activities (EAA), and hippotherapy (HPOT). EAAT is used as a therapeutic component to improve mental and physical functioning in individuals with various disabling conditions. There is minimal peer reviewed literature and few published studies addressing the use of EAAT in the field of RT. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the status of EAAT in RT; specifically, the demographics makeup of EAAT in RT, how RT professionals are currently using EAAT, and the perceived outcomes of EAAT when provided by a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS). A 30- item survey had a sample size of 56 RT professionals from around the country. Descriptive statistics were utilized to examine relationships between the field of RT and the use of EAAT. Results illustrated that EAAT is being used as a therapeutic modality in the field of RT successfully. This study contributes to evidence-based practice by providing an analysis of current practice that can inform efforts to unify EAAT and RT.