Visually Assessing Equine Quality of Movement: A Survey to Identify Key Movements and Patient-Specific Measures

Annette G. Bowen, Gillian Tabor, Raphael Labens, Hayley Randle

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

24 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Simple Summary: Physiotherapy and rehabilitation is a burgeoning area of practice; to be evidence-based, it needs outcome measures designed for its focus on function. Based on frequency of use and rationale, this online survey aimed to identify a core group of in-hand assessments for equine movement. Additionally, the survey gathered information on how movement is currently monitored and opinions on the usefulness of modifying a patient-reported outcome measure for equine use. The survey attracted 81 participants and identified 24 key movements, including walk and trot on both firm and soft surfaces in a straight line and on a small circle, plus step back, hind leg cross-over, transitions and lunging at walk, trot and canter. Access to suitable surfaces and the training level of the horse and handler are the main barriers to using other movements. The majority (82%) of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that a modified Patient-Specific Functional Scale would be useful for measuring complex movements. This knowledge of how equine clinicians are currently monitoring movement and using goal-setting will assist in designing a new outcome measure for quality of movement that includes both standardised and individualised measures. Abstract: Outcome measures are essential for monitoring treatment efficacy. The lack of measures for quality of movement in equine physiotherapy and rehabilitation impairs evidence-based practice. To develop a new field-based outcome measure, it is necessary to determine movements most frequently observed during assessment of rehabilitation and performance management cases. An online survey of 81 equine sports medicine veterinarians and equine allied-health clinicians was conducted. The key movements identified included walk and trot on both firm and soft surfaces in a straight line and on a small circle, plus step back, hind leg cross-over, transitions and lunging at walk, trot and canter. The main barriers to observing some movements are access to suitable surfaces and the training level of the horse and handler. Subjective visual assessment of live or videoed horses was the most common method used to track progress of complex movements. The majority (82%) of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that a modified Patient-Specific Functional Scale would be useful for measuring complex movements. Comments from all professions show a desire to have outcome measures relevant to their needs. This survey identified 24 in-hand movements, which can be used to form the foundation of a simple field-based outcome measure for quality of movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2822
Number of pages1
JournalAnimals
Volume13
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • equine physiotherapy
  • goal setting
  • outcome measure
  • quality of movement
  • rehabilitation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Visually Assessing Equine Quality of Movement: A Survey to Identify Key Movements and Patient-Specific Measures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this