Attitudes to animal-assisted therapy with farm animals among health staff and farmers

Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, As, Norway.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.84). 10/2008; 15(7):576-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2008.01268.x
Source: PubMed


Green care is a concept that involves the use of farm animals, plants, gardens or the landscape in cooperation with health institutions for different target groups of clients. The present study aimed at examining psychiatric therapists' (n = 60) and farmers' (n = 15) knowledge, experience and attitudes to Green care and animal-assisted therapy (AAT) with farm animals for people with psychiatric disorders. Most respondents had some or large knowledge about Green care, but experience with Green care was generally low in both groups. Both farmers and therapists believed that AAT with farm animals could contribute positively to therapy to a large or very large extent, with farmers being significantly more positive. Most of the therapists thought that AAT with farm animals contributes to increased skills in interactions with other humans, with female therapists being more positive than males. Two-thirds of the therapists believed that AAT with farm animals to a large extent could contribute better to mental health than other types of occupational therapy. There were no differences in attitudes to AAT between psychiatrists/psychologists and psychiatric nurses. This study confirms the marked potential of offering AAT services with farm animals for psychiatric patients by documenting positive attitudes to it among psychiatric therapists.

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    • "improved understanding , empathy and communication skills as well as greater confidence and self-efficacy) that enable young people to interact more positively with their human world (Fisher, 2013). Finally, the Attachment Hypothesis (H4) suggests that the safe and positive bond that develops between nature and humans restores the capacity to attach to key people in the young person's life (Berget et al., 2008). Bachi et al. (2012) concluded that animalbased interventions offer the additional opportunity to restore disrupted attachment through the human – animal bond. "
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    British Journal of Social Work 08/2015; DOI:10.1093/bjsw/bcv070 · 1.19 Impact Factor
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    • "This may be because they regard AAI as a specialized treatment, which might be conveyed through the psychiatric diagnoses used in the questionnaire, signaling relatively serious conditions that usually require hospitalization or treatment by a specialist. The fact that men were more motivated than women to learn more about AAI is not in accordance with other AAI studies, where female therapists were more positive than their male colleagues (Berget, et al., 2008; Herzog, 2007; Mason & Hagan, 1999). It should be noted that our study includes some variables not present in other AAI studies, e.g., belief in therapeutic effects from AAI. "
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    Society and Animals 01/2013; 21(3):284-293. DOI:10.1163/15685306-12341244 · 0.70 Impact Factor
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    • "Animals can also act as transitional objects [29]. Their use in Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) for humans with mental disorders has recently been studied in a randomized controlled trial [39] [40] [41] that concluded that for psychiatric patients with long lasting symptoms AAI with farm animals may have positive influences on self-efficacy and coping ability. Our study on care farming as a short-break service for children with ASDs was directed towards the farmer, farm and farm animals . "
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