Project Stride: An Equine-Assisted Intervention to Reduce Symptoms of Social Anxiety in Young Women

Sarah V. Alfonso, Lauren A. Alfonso, Maria M. Llabre, M. Isabel Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction Although there is evidence supporting the use of equine-assisted activities to treat mental disorders, its efficacy in reducing signs and symptoms of social anxiety in young women has not been examined. Method We developed and pilot tested Project Stride, a brief, six-session intervention combining equine-assisted activities and cognitive-behavioral strategies to reduce symptoms of social anxiety. A total of 12 women, 18-29 years of age, were randomly assigned to Project Stride or a no-treatment control. Participants completed the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale at baseline, immediate-post, and 6 weeks after treatment. Results Project Stride was highly acceptable and feasible. Compared to control participants, those in Project Stride had significantly greater reductions in social anxiety scores from baseline to immediate-post [decrease of 24.8 points; t (9) = 3.40, P =.008)] and from baseline to follow-up [decrease of 31.8 points; t (9) = 4.12, P =.003)]. Conclusion These findings support conducting a full-scale efficacy trial of Project Stride.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-467
Number of pages7
JournalExplore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Equine-assisted activities
  • Social anxiety
  • Theory-based intervention
  • Young women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Analysis
  • Chiropractics
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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