Animal-assisted therapy with farm animals for persons with psychiatric disorders
ABSTRACT Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) with farm animals for humans with psychiatric disorders may reduce depression and state anxiety, and increase self-efficacy, in many participants. Social support by the farmer appears to be important. Positive effects are best documented for persons with affective disorders or clinical depression. Effects may sometimes take a long time to be detectable, but may occur earlier if the participants are encouraged to perform more complex working skills. Progress must however be individually adapted allowing for flexibility, also between days. Therapists involved with mental health show a pronounced belief in the effects of AAT with farm animals, variation being related to type of disorder, therapist's sex and his/her experience with AAT. Research is still scarce and further research is required to optimize and individually adapt the design of farm animal-assisted interventions.
SourceAvailable from: Darren Shickle[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Care farms, where all or part of the farm is used for therapeutic purposes, show much potential for improving the health and well-being of a range of disadvantaged groups. Studies to date have been qualitative or observational, with limited empirical evidence of the effectiveness of care farms in improving health and well-being. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that lead to improvements for different disadvantaged groups is a further gap in the evidence. Participants in this study are offenders serving community orders. Their low socioeconomic status and poor health outcomes relative to the general population exemplifies disadvantage.BMJ Open 10/2014; 4(10):e006536. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006536 · 2.06 Impact Factor
Article: Lifestyle medicine for depression[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of depression appears to have increased over the past three decades. While this may be an artefact of diagnostic practices, it is likely that there are factors about modernity that are contributing to this rise. There is now compelling evidence that a range of lifestyle factors are involved in the pathogenesis of depression. Many of these factors can potentially be modified, yet they receive little consideration in the contemporary treatment of depression, where medication and psychological intervention remain the first line treatments. "Lifestyle Medicine" provides a nexus between public health promotion and clinical treatments, involving the application of environmental, behavioural, and psychological principles to enhance physical and mental wellbeing. This may also provide opportunities for general health promotion and potential prevention of depression. In this paper we provide a narrative discussion of the major components of Lifestyle Medicine, consisting of the evidence-based adoption of physical activity or exercise, dietary modification, adequate relaxation/sleep and social interaction, use of mindfulness-based meditation techniques, and the reduction of recreational substances such as nicotine, drugs, and alcohol. We also discuss other potential lifestyle factors that have a more nascent evidence base, such as environmental issues (e.g. urbanisation, and exposure to air, water, noise, and chemical pollution), and the increasing human interface with technology. Clinical considerations are also outlined. While data supports that some of these individual elements are modifiers of overall mental health, and in many cases depression, rigorous research needs to address the long-term application of Lifestyle Medicine for depression prevention and management. Critically, studies exploring lifestyle modification involving multiple lifestyle elements are needed. While the judicious use of medication and psychological techniques are still advocated, due to the complexity of human illness/wellbeing, the emerging evidence encourages a more integrative approach for depression, and an acknowledgment that lifestyle modification should be a routine part of treatment and preventative efforts.BMC Psychiatry 04/2014; 14(1):107. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-107 · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This article represents a review of green care across Western European countries. The following questions are addressed: What is green care, and what are its basic goals? What are the most commonly known types of green care interventions, and how are they connected to each other? There are different sectors of green care intervention that vary from each other regarding their structure, specific goals, and purpose. These traits will be investigated in this review. And lastly, how these interventions are designed and their approach to promote and provide health will be examined.EXPLORE The Journal of Science and Healing 03/2010; 6(2):106-11. DOI:10.1016/j.explore.2009.12.002 · 0.94 Impact Factor