Document Type


Source Publication Title

Research on Social Work Practice


The purpose of this study was to explore participants’ perceived benefits of equine-assisted psychotherapy and to understand if older adults with functional or cognitive impairment found meaning and purpose in their interactions with horses. This study employed a mixed methods study design with a concurrent triangulation approach. The findings from our study suggest that those impacted with functional or cognitive impairment can meaningfully engage in EAGALA model of equine-assisted psychotherapy and demonstrate the ability to find purpose from their experience. Their perceived benefits were not limited to their interactions with horses but instead wide-ranging, including positive influences from their peers, the outdoor environment associated with equine-assisted activities, and the increased level of social interactions through reminiscence. Social workers can serve a vital role in the use of equine-assisted psychotherapy among older adults, and equine-assisted psychotherapy may hold less stigma than traditional talk therapy to the older adult population. [This is a post-print of an article published by SAGE Publications in Research on Social Work Practice on November 28, 2019, available online:]


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work

Publication Date




Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 3000

Included in

Social Work Commons