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Heart rate, heart rate variability and salivary cortisol as indicators of arousal and synchrony in clients with intellectual disability, horses and therapist during equine-assisted interventions

Naber, Anna and Kreuzer, Lena and Zink, Roswitha and Millesi, Eva and Palme, Rupert and Hediger, Karin and Glenk, Lisa Maria. (2019) Heart rate, heart rate variability and salivary cortisol as indicators of arousal and synchrony in clients with intellectual disability, horses and therapist during equine-assisted interventions. Pet Behaviour Science, 7. pp. 17-23.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/80118/

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to analyse interaction processes in equine-assisted therapy (EAT) sessions with ten female clients in the period of emerging adulthood with intellectual disability (ID). Heart rate (HR), heart rate variability and salivary cortisol levels have been analysed in humans and horses before, during and after a standardised therapy session as well as in a control condition. There was a trend of lower cortisol levels and higher variability and parasympathetic tone induced by horses. During challenge however, there was a significant lower HR in the horse condition. Significant correlations in heart rate between therapist, client and horse were found with stronger interaction with a familiar horse. Our findings suggest that EAT may effectively modulate stress in humans with ID. Our results further elucidate synchronisation patterns in HR highlighting the pivotal role of relationship quality and intensity as modulators of synchrony.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie (Gaab)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Hediger, Karin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain
ISSN:2445-2874
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:25 Oct 2021 12:53
Deposited On:25 Oct 2021 12:53

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