Quantitative evaluation of the impact of the IFEEL Method of Equine Facilitated Psychotraumatology (EFPT) intervention on military veterans.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


Introduction: Equine-human interventions within human counselling and behavioural development programmes are increasing in popularity. However a paucity of evidence-based studies exist evaluating the impact of these on their human participants. The Clinical Outcome in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) is a validated self-report questionnaire measuring psychological distress designed to be administered before/after therapeutic programmes. This study assessed the impact of a 3-day Equine Facilitated Pyschotraumatology (EFPT) on participants’ psychological health using CORE-OM. Methodology: CORE-OM consists of 34 likert-scale questions (rated 1: not at all to 5: most/all of the time) covering four dimensions: subjective well-being (Core-W), problems/symptoms (Core-P), life functioning (Core-F) and risk/harm (Core-R). Mean scores are produced for each dimension, Core-ALL and CORE-ALLR. CORE-ALL mean scores between 0-4 indicate global psychological distress from ‘healthy’ (0-<0.6) to ‘severe’ (>2.5), with the clinical cut-off for distress >1.0. The questionnaire was administered before and after the 3-day EFPT intervention; participants (n=37) completed the questionnaire at the start of day 1 (D1) and at the conclusion of day 3 (D3). CORE-OM scores met non-parametric assumptions, therefore Wilcoxon Signed Rank analyses (significance: P<0.05) identified if differences occurred between client CORE-OM scores from D1-D3. Scores are presented as mean±sd in accordance with the CORE-OM methodology. Main findings: CORE-OM scores consistently decreased from the start to the end of the EFPT intervention demonstrating a reduction in clients’ psychological distress: Core-W scores D1:2.02±0.86, D3:1.48±1.02, P=0.0001; Core-P scores D1:2.1±0.82, D3:1.22±0.80, P=0.025; Core-F scores D1:1.83±0.7, D3:0.87±0.77, P=0.0001; Core-R scores D1:0.71±0.83, D3:0.22±0.47, P=0.0001; Core-ALL scores D1:1.74±0.65, D3:0.92±0.64, P=0.007; CORE-ALLR scores D1:1.99±0.70, D3:1.74±0.74, P=0.025. Principal conclusions and implications: The IFEEL Method EFPT intervention was an effective tool to reduce psychological distress on a short term basis in this sample. CORE-OM provides an objective, repeatable and validated measure by which equine-human interventions can be evaluated.
PeriodSept 2020
Event titleInternational Society for Anthrozoology Conference 2020
Event typeConference