ArticleLiterature Review

Use of Animal-Assisted Therapy with Psychiatric Patients - A Literature Review -

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Abstract

The use of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) as an adjunct treatment approach in psychiatric settings has received much attention in the literature. This article explores the use of AAT with psychiatric patients. The authors performed a literature review and found that AAT can have a significant effect on the improvement of psychiatric patients' socialization and provides a variety of psychological benefits. Nurses can benefit from learning about the potential benefits of AAT for psychiatric patients.

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... While AAI can positively influence physiological regulation of humans, it has particularly beneficial effects on patients with psychiatric and or cognitive disorders [4,16,17]. For example, Rossetti and King [17] discussed the results of a systematic literature review, concluding that AAT provides psychological benefits and has significant positive effects for psychiatric patients' socialization. ...
... While AAI can positively influence physiological regulation of humans, it has particularly beneficial effects on patients with psychiatric and or cognitive disorders [4,16,17]. For example, Rossetti and King [17] discussed the results of a systematic literature review, concluding that AAT provides psychological benefits and has significant positive effects for psychiatric patients' socialization. A randomized controlled study revealed that patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) reported increased alertness and concentration in the presence of an animal [16]. ...
... Considerable anecdotal evidence shows animals are integral parts of combat units; they are a source of pride in the form of mascots, have specific jobs and tasks that assist service members, can provide stress relief and increase humility during challenging periods, and are now being associated with an easier transition back to civilian life post-service (Chumley, 2012;Taylor et al., 2013). The accompaniment of SDs to military Veterans is a relatively new area of research but builds directly off the surging evidence base showing that animalsas companions or in assistance rolespositively affect the management of symptoms associated with mental distress and can improve overall wellness (Bergert & Ihlebaek, 2011;McConnel, Brown, Shoda, Stayton, & Martin, 2011;Rossetti & King, 2010). ...
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Despite ample anecdotal evidence, there are limited meaningful studies speaking to the important role that animal-assisted intervention (AAI) may have in reducing suicide risk. However, research is increasingly showing the viability of service dogs (SDs) being used as a complementary approach for military Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use harms – two of the strongest indicators for suicidality across any population. Using a critical suicidology approach with a One Health framework, my Master’s research utilized the concept of zooeyia - which recognizes the health benefits of animals in the lives of humans – to explore the significant role the human-animal bond (HAB) has in meditating suicidality. Using in-depth interview data from 28 transcripts that spanned an 18-month period, I undertook a secondary thematic analysis to explore the experiences of Canadian military Veterans at high risk for suicide working with SDs. My methodological approach used emotion and pattern coding to discover how the unique social support system enabled by the SDs can act as a catalyst to increase feelings of “mattering.” Mattering is a validated construct shown to reduce feelings of depression, loneliness, and hopelessness that are commonly associated with suicidal behavior. My study is the first of its kind, known to me, to show that feelings of mattering can exist between a human and animal; this conclusion is based on the presence of the indicators of mattering appearing between all Veteran and SD pairings within the sample. Further to this, the SDs were reported by the Veterans as being the direct catalyst in reducing self-harm and suicidality, while also promoting feelings of hope for “healing.” While acknowledgement of how context specificity and the unique lived experience of each person remains crucial for making sense of suicidality, the significant finding from this research has been the uncovering of the synergistic impact that mattering has in the lives of Veterans where the SD has been a bridge to improve their overall quality of life - a finding that may be critical in helping reduce future suicide risk among military Veterans.
... Početak istraživanja uticaja životinja na ljude vezuje se za šezdesete godine XX veka. Naime, Boris Levinson, dečji psihijatar, smatra se pionirom u oblasti terapije potpomognute životinjama (Rossetti & King, 2010). On je doveo svog psa na sastanak sa neverbalnim i anksioznim detetom, da bi nakon toga primetio značajan napredak u radu, a svoja zapažanja o tome prezentovao je 1961. ...
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The type of complementary treatment under the interdisciplinary term Animal-assisted interventions - AAI implies all types of interventions which integrate a variety of animals within two key modalities: Animal-Assisted Activities - AAA and Animal-Assisted Therapy - AAT. Interventions can be implemented with persons of all ages in a variety of settings (schools, health care and correctional institutions, etc.). The main objective of this paper is to show different forms and contents of interventions, as well as flexible implementation through examples of research results involving young persons with developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders, by reviewing the available literature. Apart from the potentials of Animal-assisted interventions, certain limitations and implementation challenges have also been pointed out, as well as criticisms, primarily focused on methodological flaws in empirical research.
... A number of services have been developed in different European countries for people with personal, social, emotional, and physical functional limitations of various kinds. For example, a literature review by Rossetti and Kings (2010) shows that AAT can lead to clear improvements in the socialization of mental health patients, in addition to numerous other psychological advantages. ...
Article
This study aimed at gaining knowledge of users' experience of green care services (interventions using nature to improve health) for people with mental health or drug problems. Data were obtained from interviews with 20 participants in green care services and were analyzed qualitatively. Findings revealed that work in a social context close to nature and work with animals increased mastery and meaningfulness. Participation resulted in personal changes, new practical skills, improved social networks, and feelings of well-being. There appears to be powerful potential in using green care services as a recovery tool for people with mental health or drug-related problems.
... The four intervention studies described above had a particular focus on either animal-assisted or therapeutic horticulture interventions, since previous research indicates the mental health benefits of these kind of interventions [56][57][58]. Even though nature experiences and activity connected to animals and/or horticulture are important at care farms, the studies do not examine all components of the care farm context, as care farming programs in Norway are complex in nature. ...
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Background: C are farming is a service developed at farms for promoting mental and physical health and is increasingly used in mental health rehabilitation in Norway. Objective: This article aims to present a descriptive review of Norwegian intervention research on care farms that provide rehabilitation for people with mental health disorders. Methods: This literature review applied a non-systematic search strategy: all articles in the field known to the authors were selected for inclusion. The selected studies were intervention studies that were conducted on farms in Norway, that used adult participants with mental health problems/disorders, and that reported outcome measures related to mental health. The studies and articles presented quantitative and/or qualitative data. Results: The findings from the published articles report improvements to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, perceived stress, positive affect, rumination, and self-efficacy. Qualitative data describe a variety of positive experiences, such as improved coping ability, increased social support, and appreciation of the care farm activity. Conclusion: Participating in interventions on care farms positively influences mental health. Care farming may therefore be used as a supplementary approach in mental health rehabilitation, as it offers meaningful and engaging occupations and social inclusion.
... These mandates come at a time when there is an ever-increasing amount of research suggesting that animals have therapeutic benefits for a variety of physical and psychological challenges and disorders (Maujean, Pepping, & Kendall, 2015). For example, Rossetti and King's (2010) review concluded that animal assisted interventions (AAIs) have positive effects on a wide range of psychological and social outcomes, including reductions in anger, anxiety, depression, and general distress, and beneficial effects on socialization. DeCourcey, Russell, and Keister (2010) came to similar conclusions, suggesting that AAIs have the potential to reduce stress, anxiety, and boredom, as well as improve mood and physiological markers of well-being such as reduced heart rate and blood pressure. ...
Article
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Increasing numbers of students are requesting accommodations for emotional support animals (ESAs) in higher education settings. Since the legislation pertaining to this type of service animal differs from the laws governing disability service animals, colleges and universities are faced with developing new policies and guidelines. A sample of 248 University Counseling Centers (UCCs) completed a survey about student requests for ESA letters of support from their counselor. The UCCs were also asked if they issue official disability diagnoses for clients. Responses showed that UCCs are not yet being asked to write many letters of support for ESAs—56.9% almost never do it, and 31.05% do it only several times per year. And, only 47.18% of UCCs write official diagnosis letters in support of disability accommodations. Yet, most UCCs are aware of the need for official policies in this arena. This article provides general recommendations for establishing university policies.
... They are a source of pride in the form of mascots, have specific tasks that help soldiers, can relieve stress, and increase humility during difficult times, and are now associated with an easier transition to civilian life after service [39,40]. The use of companion animals for military veterans is a relatively new area of research but builds directly on the growing evidence base showing that animals-particularly in the assistance role can positively influence the management of symptoms associated with PTSD and improve overall well-being [41][42][43]. ...
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Introduction: Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAIs) have been increasingly used in the workplace to mitigate the effect of work-related stress and improve psychological well-being among employees. Military workers returning home from combat and veterans face a high burden of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). This systematic review aimed to investigate the potential benefits of AAIs on military workers and veterans affected by PTSD. Methods: A systematic review was conducted across Scopus, PubMed Central/Medline, Web of Science, and Google Scholar in December 2021 and June 2022 using predefined search criteria. All types of studies published in the English language were included except editorials, commentaries, and narrative reviews. Studied published from January 2001 to December 2021 were included. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 reporting guidelines for this systematic review. The assessment of study quality was carried out with a 16-item Quality Assessment Tool for Studies with Diverse Designs (QATSDD) Results: Overall, 25 studies were finally included in this systematic review. Most of the AAIs were canine-assisted programs (n=12) and therapeutic horseback riding or equine-assisted psychotherapy (n=11). There was only one intervention study utilizing a pinnipeds-based program (n=1), while one study was based on several types of animals (n=1). Out of 25 studies focusing on the effects of AAIs on PTSD in the military (n=3) and veterans (n=21), the majority of them (n=18) observed significantly lower PTSD symptomatology following AAIs. Three studies observed no statistically significant difference in PTSD symptomatology. Discussion: Our findings indicated that implementing AAI programs among military workers and veterans may improve their psychological well-being and reduce the severity of PTSD symptoms. Policymakers and occupational health services should consider adopting AAIs during military service and after military discharge to support the mental health of military workers.
... Animal-assisted psychotherapy (AAP) is based on the natural bond between humans and animals, integrating animals into therapy processes in the therapy structure of therapist-client-animal. Researchers and mental health professionals have seen the special advantages and beneficial influence of animals on sufferers of a variety of difficulties such as attention disorders (Katcher & Wilkins, 1994), mental disorders, and psychiatric difficulties (Rossetti & King, 2010). It has been found that therapeutic interactions with animals lead to reduction in anxiety and stress (Odendaal, 2000) and reduction in anhedonia in psychiatric populations (Nathans-Barel, Feldman, Berger, Modai, & Silver, 2005). ...
Article
Animal-assisted psychotherapy (AAP) inherently incorporates standpoints, interventions, and ways of action promoting the development of the reflective function and mentalization, and thus has special value for parent–child psychotherapy. Two central tools in AAP contribute to this process. The first is the ethical stance of the therapist, who sees the animals as full partners in the therapy situation, respecting them as subjects with needs, desires, and thoughts of their own. The second tool combines nonverbal communication with animals together with the relating, in the here and now, to the understanding and decoding of body language of everyone in the setting. Nonverbal communication in AAP enables access to implicit communication patterns occurring between parent and child. This article provides a survey of theoretical development and research constituting a basis for the development of therapeutic approaches for the improvement of parent–children dynamics, followed by a description of a dyadic therapy model of a mentalization-based treatment originating from a psychoanalytic-relational orientation. Clinical examples are provided to illustrate AAP processes in parent–child psychotherapy (consent was received for examples that were not aggregated).
... AAP can be considered a specific form of AAT. Several meta- analyses (Nimer & Lundahl, 2007;Souter & Miller, 2007) and system- atic reviews ( Kamioka et al., 2014;Kendall et al., 2015;Rossetti & King, 2010) have concluded that AAT is a valuable resource in the field of clinical psychology and psy- chiatry. More specifically, evidence from randomized controlled trials indicates that AAT has a positive effect on a wide range of psycholog- ical and social factors in patients with psychological disorders ). ...
Article
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of an animal‐assisted psychotherapy (AAP) programme on clinical symptoms, personal adjustment, and adaptive skills in a group of adolescents in residential care who had experienced childhood trauma and who presented mental health problems and difficulties adapting to the care home environment. The 87 participants (Mage= 15.17, SD = 1.53) were divided into two groups: a treatment group (25 girls and 27 boys; Mage = 15.00, SD = 1.55) and a control group (9 girls and 26 boys; Mage = 15.42, SD = 1.50). The programme consisted of 34 sessions involving both group (23 sessions) and individual (11 sessions) AAP. The Behaviour Assessment System for Children was used to evaluate clinical and adaptive dimensions of behaviour and personality. The results indicated that, in comparison with controls, the young people who took part in the AAP programme reported a significant improvement on two measures of internalizing symptoms, namely, depression and sense of inadequacy. Although no significant differences were observed in relation to externalizing symptoms, the adolescents who received the AAP programme showed improved social skills in terms of their ability to interact satisfactorily with peers and adults in the care home environment, as well as a more positive attitude towards teachers at school. These results suggest that AAP may be a promising treatment for young people who have experienced childhood trauma and who subsequently find it difficult to adapt to the residential care setting.
... identified that, across US campuses, over 900 animal-visitation programs are offered to reduce student distress. Under the larger umbrellas of Human-Animal Interactions and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), providing access to therapy canines is described as a complimentary therapeutic approach-not always intended to stand on its own as a comprehensive treatment per se, but rather a means of support in addition to other services offered to clients (Marcus, 2013;Nepps, Stewart & Bruckno, 2014;Nimer & Lundahl, 2007;Rossetti & King, 2010;Yorke et al., 2013). Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis and Cobb's (1976) Social Support Theory provide theoretical frameworks supporting the current investigation. ...
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University students with elevated stress levels are at risk for experiencing compromised mental health and for underperforming academically. In an effort to support student wellbeing, post-secondary campuses are increasingly offering canine therapy programs. These programs provide students opportunities to interact with dogs known for their calm public behavior, docile temperaments, and eagerness to interact with strangers. Despite the interest in canine therapy, there remains a paucity of research attesting to the benefits of this approach to support university student wellbeing. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a group-administered, single-session canine therapy intervention on university students’ perceptions of stress, homesickness, and affinity to campus. Participants (n = 163) were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 84, 20-minute exposure to therapy dog, handler, and fellow students) condition or a business-as-usual control (n = 79, 20 minutes of individual studying) condition. No baseline differences were identified between the two groups. Findings revealed a significant main effect for group, and when compared with the control group, participants in the treatment group showed significant decreases from pre-test to post-test in perceived stress, homesickness (dislike), and homesickness (attachment), and significant improvements in sense of school belonging. Interestingly, control group scores on homesickness (dislike) also differed significantly from pre-test to post-test, with the means increasing from pre-test to post-test. After controlling for pre- and post-test scores, there were no significant differences on any of the self-report measures between participants in the treatment and control groups at follow-up. Findings are discussed within the contexts of animal-assisted therapy and on-campus stress reduction initiatives.
... identified that, across US campuses, over 900 animal-visitation programs are offered to reduce student distress. Under the larger umbrellas of Human-Animal Interactions and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), providing access to therapy canines is described as a complimentary therapeutic approach-not always intended to stand on its own as a comprehensive treatment per se, but rather a means of support in addition to other services offered to clients (Marcus, 2013;Nepps, Stewart & Bruckno, 2014;Nimer & Lundahl, 2007;Rossetti & King, 2010;Yorke et al., 2013). Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis and Cobb's (1976) Social Support Theory provide theoretical frameworks supporting the current investigation. ...
Article
Background: Increasingly colleges and universities are offering canine therapy to help students de-stress as a means of supporting students’ emotional health and mental well-being. Despite the popularity of such programs, there remains a dearth of research attesting to their benefits. Aims: Participants included 1960 students at a mid-size western Canadian University. The study’s aims were to assess the stress-reducing effects of a weekly drop-in, canine-therapy program and to identify how long participants spent with therapy canines to reduce their stress. Methods: Demographic information was gathered, length of visit documented and a visual analog scale (VAS) was used to assess entry and exit self-reports of stress. Results: Participants’ self-reported stress levels were significantly lower after the canine therapy intervention. Participants spent an average of 35 min per session. Conclusions: This study supports the use of drop-in, canine therapy as a means of reducing university students’ stress. The findings hold applied significance for both counseling and animal therapy practitioners regarding the dose intervention participants seek to reduce their stress.
... 47 These mandates come at a time when there is everincreasing research suggesting that animals have therapeutic benefits for many physical and psychological challenges and disorders. 16 For example, Rossetti and King's review 48 concluded that animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) have positive effects on a wide range of psychological and social outcomes, including reductions in anger, anxiety, depression, and general distress, and beneficial effects on socialization. DeCourcey, Russell, and Table 4: Concerns about emotional support animals and service animals within teaching labs and patient treatment areas 1 ¼ no concern 2 3 4 ...
Article
Given the unique nature of programs in professional veterinary medicine (PVM), the increasing numbers of students requesting accommodations for emotional support animals (ESAs) in higher education settings is of growing interest to student affairs and administrative staff in PVM settings. Since the legislation pertaining to this type of support animal differs from the laws governing disability service animals, colleges and universities now need to develop new policies and guidelines. Representatives from a sample of 28 PVM programs completed a survey about the prevalence of student requests for ESAs and service animals. PVM associate deans for academic affairs also reported their perceptions of this issue and the challenges these requests might pose within veterinary teaching laboratories and patient treatment areas. Responses indicated that approximately one third of PVM programs have received requests for ESAs (32.1%) in the last 2 years, 17.9% have had requests for psychiatric service animals, and 17.9% for other types of service animals. Despite this, most associate deans reported not having or not being aware of university or college policies pertaining to these issues. Most associate deans are interested in learning more about this topic. This paper provides general recommendations for establishing university or PVM program policies.
... Known as Canine-Assisted Interventions (CAIs; Binfet & Hartwig, 2020) or Canine Visitation (Pendry & Vandagriff, 2019), across studies these programs have been shown to significantly reduce pre-to-post visit self-reports of stress in students (Barker et al., 2016;Binfet, 2017;Binfet et al., 2018;Crossman et al., 2015;Evans Robino et al., 2021;Pendry et al., 2018Pendry et al., , 2021Ward-Griffin et al., 2018). Within the field of human-animal interactions, CAIs are considered a complimentary therapeutic approachnot intended to stand on their own as a comprehensive treatment but rather to offer support to clients in addition to other available services (Marcus, 2013;Nepps et al., 2014;Nimer & Lundahl, 2007;Rossetti & King, 2010). CAIs are considered both a low-cost and low-barrier intervention to bolster students' wellbeing. ...
... It has been observed that the implementation of animal treatment programs in patients with schizophrenia living in psychiatric institutions has gained the preference of patients compared to other treatment models, as participation in them showed a decrease in the sense of apathy and the manifestation of adverse symptoms of the disease. In addition, patients' cortisol levels seem to be reduced at the end of the reported programs, indicating the reduction of anxiety and stress in people with schizophrenia (Chu et al, 2009, Rossetti andKing, 2010). ...
... AAT programs are planned to encourage the improvement of physical, social, emotional and cognitive human functioning. They can be implemented individually or in groups, and the development of the program is always evaluated and documented [9]. One of the main benefits of AAT is the interaction with the animal as a space where the patient's therapeutic relationship and adherence to the treatment is improved. ...
Article
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Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a complementary intervention of therapy that has shown positive results in the treatment of various pathologies. This study assesses the viability of the implementation and the effectiveness of an AAT program in patients diagnosed with substance abuse disorder and associated mental disorders (dual pathology). For the study, a dynamic prospective cohort was used, consisting of 43 patients in residential treatment. The program consisted of 10 sessions with a duration of about 60 min, where data was collected in the 3rd, 6th and 10th sessions. The Life Skills Profile questionnaire (LSP) and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) were used for subsequent evaluation. Patients who participated in the program showed an improvement in daily skills, which favoured a better quality of life and decreased impulsiveness, enabling them to regain self-control. These results suggest that the dog can be a multi-sensory stimulus that captures attention, and improves motivation, cooperation and patient involvement in therapy. It was concluded that AAT can serve as an adjunctive therapy in the rehabilitation processes of people diagnosed with dual pathology.
... Integration of animals in treatment approaches for trauma-affected individuals is based on the observation of promising outcomes of AAI for a number of populations such as psychiatric patients (Hawkins, Hawkins, Dennis, Williams, & Lawrie, 2019;Rossetti & King, 2010), patients with autism spectrum disorders and behavioural difficulties (O'Haire, 2013;Trzmiel, Purandare, Michalak, Zasadzka, & Pawlaczyk, 2019) or people with cognitive impairments or dementia (Hu, Zhang, Leng, Li, & Chen, 2018; Zafra-Tanaka, Pacheco-Barrios, Tellez, & Taype-Rondan, 2019), although results are sometimes mixed. There is also an increasing number of studies investigating the effects of AAI for people who experienced trauma including patients with PTSD. ...
Article
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Background: Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) are increasingly applied for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms albeit its effectiveness is unclear. Objectives: To examine the effectiveness of AAI for treating PTSD symptoms. Method: We searched 11 major electronic databases for studies reporting quantitative data on effects of AAI for children and adults with PTSD symptoms. Of 22ʹ211 records identified, we included 41 studies with 1111 participants in the systematic review comprising eight controlled studies with 469 participants in the meta-analysis. We conducted random-effects meta-analyses with all controlled studies based on standardized mean differences (SMD), and calculated standardized mean change (SMC) as effect sizes for studies with a pre-post one-group design. Two independent researchers assessed the quality of the included studies using the NIH Study Quality Assessment Tools. The primary outcome was PTSD or depression symptom severity measured via a standardized measurement at pre- and post-intervention assessments. Results: There was a small but not statistically significant superiority of AAI over standard PTSD psychotherapy (SMD = −0.26, 95% CI: −0.56 to 0.04) in reducing PTSD symptom severity while AAI was superior to waitlist (SMD = −0.82, 95% CI: −1.56 to 0.08). Getting a service dog was superior to waiting for a service dog (SMD = −0.58, 95% CI: −0.88 to −0.28). AAI led to comparable effects in reducing depression as standard PTSD psychotherapy (SMD = −0.03, CI: −0.88 to 0.83). Pre-post comparisons showed large variation for the reduction in PTSD symptom severity, with SMCs ranging from −0.38 to −1.64, and for depression symptom severity, ranging from 0.01 to −2.76. Getting a service dog lowered PTSD symptoms between −0.43 and −1.10 and depression with medium effect size of −0.74. Conclusions: The results indicate that AAI are efficacious in reducing PTSD symptomatology and depression. Future studies with robust study designs and large samples are needed for valid conclusions.
Chapter
Carceral dog training programs continue to demonstrate their value for participants, other incarcerated people, facility staff, and the dogs and their recipients. The programs are based on the therapeutic effects of human-animal interactions. An empirical body of research findings regarding the positive impacts that result from participating in carceral dog training programs continues to grow. After reviewing why incarcerated people need programming and the history of dog training programs, the literature, which is increasingly comprised of studies that use sophisticated research methodologies, is presented. Given the criminogenic nature of the carceral environment, implementing reliable and effective treatment programs is crucial. Participation’s implications for desistance are also explored. The chapter ends with a consideration of the research we still need to conduct.
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This study aimed to see if as companion animals living with human beings, dogs could provide emotional stability or play a therapeutic role for human beings. Of 12 middle school boys as victims of school violence, 6 were assigned to the experimental group that was provided with an animal-assisted therapy program over a total of 12 sections, one section per week, 60 minutes per section, between September and November 2011, followed by post-test 1 and, one month later, post-test 2. In the experimental composition, the remaining 6 boys were assigned to the comparison group that was allowed to read freely. Analysis was performed by using the scales of depression and self-esteem, and the results showed that the experimental group provided with the animal-assisted therapy program generated more significant therapeutic effects than the comparison group. The therapeutic effects were found to persist one month after the completion of the program. Therefore, it is believed that sensitive adolescents who suffer from depression or have lost self-esteem because of school violence can significantly benefit from an animal-assisted therapy program by reducing the recovery time or by getting lots of help with emotional stability. Further research on the basis of this study is expected to help adolescents with emotional therapy in other areas.
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The origins of animal therapy dates back to the previous century. Thanks to its features, animals in the course of affective, recreational, psychosomatic, physical, associated mechanism, and psychological stimulation, influence improvement of mental state, cognitive functions, physical condition, as well as patients' social behavior. In affective disorders, animal therapy reduces anxiety and improves mood, in schizophrenia it reduces negative symptoms, enhances emotional response and decreases anxiety. In elderly patients, as a result of interaction with animals, irritability reduction, better group functioning, improved care about satisfying ones needs, as well as reduction of affective symptoms, anxiety and improvement of cognitive functions, was obtained. Pet therapy has positive impact on somatic health- it lowers blood pressure and pulse rate, augments lipid profile, and decreases glucocorticoids blood level. As a result of intercourse with animals, the quality of life improves. Numerous evidence on animal therapy effectiveness, and simultaneously little research on animals influence on human, should induce topic exploration, while pet therapy could be an valuable instrument in psychiatric patients treatment.
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The use of animal-assisted interventions (aaIs) to achieve psychological benefits has expanded rapidly over the last few years. However, this is a vastly under-researched area, and the research to date has been largely descriptive, in the form of case studies, or has used only small groups of participants with no control condition. Remarkably few studies have utilized gold standard randomized controlled designs. The aim of the present review was to examine the current state of the literature in regard to only randomized controlled trials (RCts) examining the psychosocial benefits of aaIs, which is a necessary step in order to move the field forward. A search of relevant databases was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and meta-analyses (PRISma) guidelines. A total of 66,180 articles were identified at the outset; this was reduced to eight articles (involving 7 studies), following the removal of duplicates (39,377), unrelated titles (26,525), and those that did not meet inclusion criteria (270). Findings from the present review suggest that aaIs may be of benefit to a wide range of individuals, including children with autism, and adults with psychological disorders, including schizophrenia. However, further research using well-designed RCts is required to more definitively explore what specific types of aaI are beneficial for specific populations. Recommendations for future research are provided.
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Canine-assisted therapy (CAT) is widely used in outpatient settings, yet there is little published literature regarding its use, efficacy, and safety in the inpatient setting. The primary objective of this review was to consolidate published information regarding CAT efficacy and safety in the inpatient population. The secondary objective was to review safety concerns associated with CAT. The databases PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, and Web of Knowledge were searched using the dates April 2003-April 2013 with the terms "animal assisted therapy" and "pet therapy." Articles were reviewed for the relevance of CAT in the inpatient setting, and those meeting our criteria were included in the study. The references of selected articles also were reviewed and included if study criteria were met. The review of the literature resulted in 429 total articles using the search terms. Of the 429 articles, 177 were duplicates and 218 pertained to the outpatient setting or involved animal therapies other than canine, leaving 34 articles that met the search criteria. The bibliography review of the 34 articles yielded an additional 10 articles. Our review of the literature showed that in the inpatient setting, CAT is an effective therapy among patients of all ages and with various medical problems and is safe, with no transmitted infections reported.
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Proefskrif ingelewer vir die graad Doktor in Sielkunde in die Fakulteit Lettere en Sosiale Wetenskappe aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch Studieleier: Prof. Leslie Swartz Mede-studieleier: Prof. Estelle Swart Maart 2013 _____________ ____________
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Use of animals for therapeutic purposes, animal assisted therapy or AAT is a method for improving quality of life for long-term inpatients. The object of this paper was to evaluate dog companionship as a form of AAT and its effects on perception of loneliness in geriatric nursing home residents. The participants were involved in a six-month program of dog companionship three times weekly for 90 minutes. There were 21 residents included in the program, with a mean age of 80 years. Loneliness was measured by the short version of the UCLA Scale of loneliness. Comparison of test results before and after participation in the program showed that dog companionship reduces the perception of loneliness.
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Little is known about the epidemiology of dog sport-related injuries. This study examines injuries among handlers and dogs in the sport of dog agility. A cross-sectional pilot study captured data on demographics, exposures, and injury for a sample of agility handlers and dogs. Logistic regressions predicted odds of injury. Survey of 217 handlers and 431 dogs identified 31 handler injuries (1.55 training injuries per 1000 hours, 2.14 competition injuries per 1000 runs) and 38 dog injuries (1.74 training injuries per 1000 hours, 1.72 competition injuries per 1000 runs). Handlers most commonly injured knees (48.4%) and lower trunk (29.0%). Most common diagnoses were strains (51.6%) and sprains (32.3%). Obese handlers had increased odds of injury compared to normal weight handlers (OR=5.5, P<.001). Dogs most commonly injured front paws (23.7%) and shoulders (15.8%). Most common diagnoses were strains (44.7%) and cut/scrapes (21.1%). Injury was positively associated with dog's age (p<0.05). Handlers more commonly reported positive physical, emotional, and social motivations for participation than competitive. Despite many health benefits, dog agility poses a risk of injury to both handlers and dogs. Future research on specific mechanisms of injury should drive evidence-based injury prevention strategies.
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Objective: The aim of this literature review was to assess the effects of Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) on elderly patients with dementia or various psychiatric disorders. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature search using the online PubMed network of the US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health, Embase, PsycINFO, with the purpose of investigating AAI effects on cognitive functions, mood, and behaviour. Results: A total of 18 articles on dementia and 5 on psychiatric disorders were included in the present review. AAI were found to have positive influences on demented patients by reducing degree of agitation and by improving degree and quality of social interaction. Few studies have assessed the effects of AAI on mood, and even fewer have assessed its consequences on cognitive functions. The results that are available indicate a positive effect on communication and coping ability, but none on cognitive performance. A substitute pet robot yielded encouraging results, but its use requires further investigation. The few studies conducted for elderly patients presenting a variety of psychiatric diagnoses produced controversial findings. Conclusions: In spite of the encouraging results of AAI, much more research examining the issue of optimal AAI duration, frequency of sessions, and suitable target group is needed.
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Since 1990, tremendous progress in the medical sciences has precipitated significant improvements in health care. However, with the aging of populations worldwide, more people suffer from noncommunicable disease (NCD), incurable diseases, and/or poor health. The World Health Organization estimated that of the 57 million global deaths in 2008, 36 million were due to NCDs. These pose a considerable challenge to clinicians worldwide, particularly in developed nations. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provides an array of treatment modalities for health promotion. CAM therapy can be divided into two major strategies; namely, herb-based CAM therapy and non-herb based CAM therapy. In the current commentary, we suggest a new understanding of CAM therapy and propose a new classification for CAM therapy as well as alternative therapies. With such information, CAM can be better utilized to benefit to populations worldwide.
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Background The physical benefits for patients who spend time with a therapy dog have been reported, including decreased anxiety. Pet therapy has decreased anxiety in various hospitalized patient populations. The human–animal bond is the foundation for the positive interaction therapy dogs create. Objective This study’s purpose was to explore the use of pet therapy as an intervention to decrease patients’ anxiety levels on two diverse inpatient units: Behavioral Health (BHU) and Pediatrics (PEDS). Study Design This was a quantitative study using a convenience sample, with systematic assignment to the experimental and control group. The State Anxiety Scale (SAS), a 6-item, Likert-type Short Form version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, was used with adults and children; a Pediatric Emoji Method was constructed to assist children with the SAS. After consent, both groups completed the SAS pretest. Intervention patients then spent up to 15 minutes with a therapy dog and handler. The SAS posttest was completed 1 hour later by the experimental and control group. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used, including an independent samples t test, paired-sample t test, Wilcoxon signed rank tests, and Spearman correlation coefficients. Results Findings revealed that the therapy dog visitations had a positive effect on lowering anxiety supporting the hypothesis. Both the PEDS and BHU participants experienced a significant decrease in their anxiety level following the dog visits. Conclusion Patients on the BHU and PEDS units benefitted from their visit with a therapy dog by experiencing a decrease in their anxiety level.
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Currently, one of the main objectives of human-animal interaction research is to demonstrate the benefits of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for specific profiles of patients or participants. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of an AAT program as an adjunct to a conventional 6-month psychosocial rehabilitation program for people with schizophrenia. Our hypothesis is that the inclusion of AAT into psychosocial rehabilitation would contribute positively to the impact of the overall program on symptomology and quality of life, and that AAT would be a positive experience for patients. To test these hypotheses, we compared pre-program with post-program scores for the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the EuroQoL-5 dimensions questionnaire (EuroQol-5D), pre-session with post-session salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase for the last four AAT sessions, and adherence rates between different elements of the program. We conducted a randomized, controlled study in a psychiatric care center in Spain. Twenty-two institutionalized patients with chronic schizophrenia completed the 6-month rehabilitation program, which included individual psychotherapy, group therapy, a functional program (intended to improve daily functioning), a community program (intended to facilitate community reintegration) and a family program. Each member of the control group (n=8) participated in one activity from a range of therapeutic activities that were part of the functional program. In place of this functional program activity, the AAT-treatment group (n=14) participated in twice-weekly 1-hour sessions of AAT. All participants received the same weekly total number of hours of rehabilitation. At the end of the program, both groups (control and AAT-treatment) showed significant improvements in positive and overall symptomatology, as measured with PANSS, but only the AAT-treatment group showed a significant improvement in negative symptomatology. Adherence to the AAT-treatment was significantly higher than overall adherence to the control group’s functional rehabilitation activities. Cortisol level was significantly reduced after participating in an AAT session, which could indicate that interaction with the therapy dogs reduced stress. In conclusion, the results of this small-scale RCT suggest that AAT could be considered a useful adjunct to conventional psychosocial rehabilitation for people with schizophrenia.
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Background/aims: The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome has risen considerably over the past decade in Singapore. We aim to explore the contribution of changes in diet, lifestyle and habits that may contribute to the increased prevalence and development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Methods: This is a survey-based cross-sectional population study aimed to gather demographic, socio-economical, lifestyle, dietary, antibiotic usage and other related information. Subjects were adult male or female Singaporeans aged 21 years or above. Association of the factors gathered with the presence or absence of IBS (by Rome III criteria) was assessed using chi-square or Fisher's exact test. Variables with a level of statistical significance of 0.1 or less in the univariate analysis were entered into a stepwise logistic regression model. Results: A total of 297 subjects participated in the study (female 60.3%). Overall, 20.9% subjects fulfilled the Rome III IBS criteria. Univariate analysis showed that IBS was associated with pet ownership, antibiotic usage, late dinner (> 21:00 hour) and consumption of Western meal, coffee and bread. The multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that IBS was independently associated with being a pet owner (P= 0.008; OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.278-5.037). Conclusions: The prevalence of IBS was 20.9% using the Rome III criteria in our study. The association between IBS and pet ownership will need further investigation. Whether aeroallergens, such as animal dander, house dust mites or pollen, play any role in the pathophysiology of IBS will need to be explored in future studies.
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This study compared contingent and noncontingent access to therapy dogs during educational tasks for children with autism spectrum disorder using a multielement design. The experimenters assessed whether initial preference for the dog predicted reinforcer efficacy and how preference changed across time. A higher response rate during contingent dog sessions than baseline sessions occurred for 4 out of 5 participants, suggesting that the dog functioned as a reinforcer. One participant engaged in a high rate of responding in both contingent and noncontingent dog conditions. Preference assessments revealed idiosyncrasies, suggesting that further research is needed into the predictive nature of initial preference assessments with animals as part of the stimulus array. The experimenters also analyzed salivary cortisol before and after sessions to determine if learning about the upcoming interaction with a dog reduced salivary cortisol in children. Cortisol was variable across participants, with only some deriving a potential physiological benefit from expecting to interact with the dog.
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A grassroots movement of nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations is creating programs in which incarcerated individuals train rescued shelter dogs as therapeutic canines for Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Driven in part by reports of Veterans not receiving adequate treatment for PTSD, the programs are the latest iteration of prison-based animal programs and are founded on the principles of animal therapy and healing powers of animals. The far-reaching and deleterious collateral consequences of PTSD create social and economic burdens on the country; providing beneficial interventions for Veterans is a pressing social problem. Without oversight, a patchwork of agencies has developed that provides Veterans with dogs with varying levels of training and differing abilities. To best serve the needs of Veterans, the programs need regulation and standardized methods of training.
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Complementary treatments may include goal-directed dog visits to specific populations, called animal-assisted therapy, or more casual encounters designed to provide socialization and increase comfort, called animal-assisted activities. Therapy dogs may be permitted into areas that may typically restrict animals (e.g., schools, hospitals, and hospices) during the time when the dogs are providing therapeutic services. Therapy dog visits have been shown to provide both subjective and objective improvements in pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations with a broad range of medical conditions. Studies have shown significant physiological changes in humans after experiencing therapy dog visits. Ethical issues surrounding therapy dog visits have been addressed.
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This exploratory mixed-methods study examined the influence of an on-campus canine therapy program on linguistically diverse international students' perceptions of their English language development and stress. Participants were recruited from English language support classes at a mid-size western Canadian university and were randomly selected from a larger pool of participants indicating interest in the study. Seven participants attended five canine therapy sessions in which they interacted with certified therapy dogs working as part of a campus initiative to reduce stress and homesickness on campus. Both formative and summative data collection was done with students completing weekly stress assessments, responding to summative questions asked in an interview, and elaborating on their views in a focus group discussion. The following key themes emerged with students describing: 1) decreased overall stress; 2) improvements in their sense of belonging in the campus community with dogs as social catalysts; and 3) increased opportunities to practice oral language skills through interactions with dog handlers and fellow students in the lab. Implications are discussed within the context of reducing the affective filter for language learners and increasing accessibility to programs for international students.
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Animal-assisted therapy is an emerging complementary strategy with an increasing presence in the literature. Limited studies have been conducted with children, particularly those with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. Although outcomes show promise in decreasing suffering of children receiving palliative care services, more work is needed to validate evidence to support implementation of animal-assisted therapy with this vulnerable population.
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Research studies report that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) may be an effective alternative method for treating autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the presence of many methodological weaknesses and the limited replication of such studies have resulted in divided opinion on the actual effectiveness of AAT for treating ASD, and much hesitancy surrounding its use. Reliable clinically based studies must be conducted if this uncertainty is to be put to rest. Because these studies require the participation of physicians who are often hesitant to participate, it is suggested that leadership interventions be used as tools to encourage their participation in AAT research. This chapter aims to discuss the necessity for physician participation, the reasons for the lack of clinician participation in such research, and recommendations for encouraging physician and policymaker participation in specifically targeted research studies.
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This systematic review investigated evidence for the effectiveness of trained assistance dogs as an intervention and support for people with dementia. Peer‐reviewed articles were retrieved from multiple databases (SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Google Scholar). Reference lists of the articles retrieved were also screened to identify key authors for inclusion. Articles were subject to a quality review, and the results synthesised to address the research questions. Both qualitative and quantitative data were reported. There was evidence of the potential positive effects of dog‐assisted interventions in relation to mood, prosocial behaviours, activities of daily living and/or quality of life, cognitive impairment and symptoms specific to dementia, and existential functions. However, the form and quality of the studies varied considerably. It was concluded that further research is needed, particularly for those with younger onset dementia (YOD), for whom there were no specific studies available. Attention needs to be given to establishing adequate‐sized samples and designs incorporating control groups. Research would benefit from employing mixed‐methods, allowing for the triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data. For deteriorating conditions such as the dementias, studies need to be conducted over time. Furthermore, given the important place family members play in the lives of those with dementia, the effects of dog‐assisted interventions on the wider family should also be considered.
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There is an increasing recognition of the positive impact of trained animals, in particular dogs, in therapeutic settings. For the frail aged with cognitive impairment in high care settings, for children in hospital undergoing painful or prolonged treatments, for individuals suffering mental illness, or coping with physical or cognitive disabilities there is a growing body of experience and evidence of the value of therapy dogs. This paper gives fictitious case examples, based on the author’s experiences in hospitals and nursing homes. These, together with research outcomes of controlled interventions with therapy dogs, illustrate the comforting and calming effect on vulnerable residents and inpatients, and their impact in reducing agitation, aggression, depression and loneliness. The paper calls for further studies of this economical and effective form of therapy.
Article
Objectives: This study assessed the attitudes and beliefs surrounding animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for the rehabilitation of children with disabilities at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH), focusing specifically on cerebral palsy (CP), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and acquired brain injury (ABI). This was an initial step to inform future AAT research and to understand the feasibility of interventions. Design/setting/outcome measures: An online survey asking participants their opinions about the inclusion of AAT, and potential barriers to its introduction in a tertiary hospital setting was advertised on the RCH Intranet from 3 March 2015 to 3 April 2015. Results: A total of 128 participants responded to the survey request, from a range of specialties and departments. Almost all survey respondents reported that animal-assisted therapy would be helpful in the physical or behavioral management of children affected by CP (98%), ASD (99%) and ABI (96%), and 98% of survey respondents supported the inclusion of AAT in the RCH. Ninety-two percent recommended AAT in the inpatient setting and 52% of the respondents suggest that it should be administered as a pre-determined program with set activities. Additionally, qualitative responses provided suggestions that AAT should be used to provide comfort in high stress environments such as prior to medical and surgical procedures. Conclusions: The majority of staff are supportive of the inclusion of AAT in the RCH, indicating more research is needed to establish whether AAT is acceptable to children and families as part of their care.
Article
Psychiatric nurses are expert care providers for individuals with mental health needs. The art of caring spans across multiple species, is important to understand, and is universal whether intentions are toward individuals or animals. Pets are often cared for and viewed as family members. The current research examined psychiatric nurses’ views on the similarities and differences of caring for patients and their pet dogs. Twenty-five nurses were interviewed. Similarities of caring for patients and canines included trusting relationships, companionship, daily basic needs, and improved communication through monitored body language. Differences in caring included personal expectations, unconditional love, and professional boundaries. Understanding the concepts of caring for patients and pet dogs will provide the opportunity for insight into familial versus professional relationships, improve communication with others, and strengthen the human–animal bond.
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Monografija "Druga šansa: rad osuđenika sa psima u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica", čiji je autor dr Ana Batrićević, viši naučni saradnik Instituta za kriminološka i sociološka istraživanja u Beogradu, bavi se temom koja do sada nije bila obrađivana u domaćoj naučnoj literaturi, budući da se i sam program rada osuđenika sa psima u Kaznenopopravnom zavodu Sremska Mitrovica sprovodi tek nešto više od godinu dana. Ovaj program resocijalizacije osuđenika koji podrazumeva njihov rad sa napuštenim psima smeštenim u azilu unutar zatvorskog kompleksa predstavlja novinu u domaćem sistemu izvršenja krivičnih sankcija, što i samo istraživanje čiji su rezultati predstavljeni u ovoj monografiji čini originalnim, aktuelnim i opravdanim u naučnom i društvenom smislu. Osuđenici koji učestvuju u ovom programu se staraju o psima, neguju ih, dresiraju i stiču znanja i kvalifikacije sa kojima mogu taj posao obavljati i po izlasku na slobodu, čime se uvećava njihova šansa za zaposlenje i sticanje legalnih prihoda, a smanjuje verovatnoća recidivizma, odnosno povrata. Istovremeno, psi sa kojima osuđenici rade su sklonjeni sa ulice i socijalizuju se, čime se povećavaju njihove šanse da budu udomljeni. U prvom delu monografije, načinjen je sumaran osvrt na istorijski razvoj same ideje uključivanja životinja u rad sa licima koja borave u različitim ustanovama, uključujući tu ne samo ustanove kaznenog tipa, već i one koje su namenjene lečenju telesno ili psihički obolelih lica, a sa ciljem da se kroz interakciju sa životinjama ovim licima pomogne da prevaziđu najrazličitije probleme i poteškoće. Nakon toga, analizirani su programi resocijalizacije osuđenika koji uključuju rad sa psima, a koji se primenjuju u drugim kazneno-popravnim ustanovama u svetu. Ukazano je na dosadašnje rezultate primene takvih programa, kako u pogledu smanjenja recidivizma, tako i u pogledu pozitivnih promena u osećanjima, raspoloženjima, stavovima, ponašanju i disciplini osuđenika koji su u njima učestvovali. Takođe, ukazano je i na širi društveni značaj koji primena takvih programa može imati, pre svega u vidu doprinosa zbrinjavanju i udomljavanju napuštenih pasa i unapređenja dobrobiti životinja. Potom je opisan konkretan program rada osuđenih lica sa psima koji se od sredine 2017. godine sprovodi u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica. U ovom delu monografije predstavljeni su rezultati terenskog istraživanja koje je autor sproveo u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica tokom 2018. godine. Osim ostvarivanja uvida u sadržinu i način sprovođenja samog programa, o čemu su saznanja stečena kroz razgovore sa zaposlenima u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica koji su angažovani na njegovoj realizaciji, ovaj deo monografije omogućava i sagledavanje tog programa iz perspektive samih osuđenika. Naime, u njemu su, između ostalog, predstavljene lične impresije učesnika u programu, koje su oni izneli u polustruktuisanim intervjuima sa autorom. Monografija sadrži i izvode iz razgovora koje je autor vodio sa osuđenicima koji neposredno, rečima samih osuđenika, oslikavaju kako interakcija sa psima deluje na njihova osećanja, ponašanje tokom boravka u zatvoru, ali i na njihove stavove i planove vezane za život nakon izdržavanja kazne. Terenskim istraživanjem obuhvaćeno je ukupno 11 osuđenih lica koja su u trenutku njegovog sprovođenja radila sa psima u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica. To je ujedno bila i prva grupa osuđenika koji su bili uključeni u ovaj program. Na ovom mestu treba naglasiti da veličina uzorka objektivno nije mogla biti veća budući da se sa primenom programa tek otpočelo. U tom smislu, ovo istraživanje predstavlja "pionirski" korak u ovoj oblasti u našoj zemlji. Imajući u vidu veličinu uzorka, kao i metod istraživanja, jasno je da je u pitanju istraživanje kvalitativnog karaktera. Njime se nastoji na prvom mestu ostvariti uvid u način sprovođenja pomenutog programa. Pored toga, njime se želi ostvariti uvid u to na koji način sami osuđenici koji su u program uključeni isti doživljavaju, kako on na njih utiče i, eventualno, da li postoje neke potrebe za njegovim izmenama kako bi se uskladio sa njihovim potrebama. Osvrćući se na ključne prednosti opisanog programa, kao i na koristi koje od njega mogu imati ne samo osuđena lica, već i životinje, ali i šira društvena zajednica, autor se u zaključnom delu zalaže za proširenje njegove primene i u drugim sličnim ustanovama u našoj zemlji, dajući konkretne smernice za realizaciju te ideje. Osim toga, autor insistira na značaju poštovanja dobrobiti životinja prilikom sprovođenja ovakvih programa. Pri tome autor ističe da se dobrobit životinja u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica od samog početka sprovođenja ovog programa poštuje i uvažava, ali da je to izuzetno bitna stavka o kojoj treba nastaviti brigu i u budućnosti. Fotografije koje su se našle u ovoj monografiji napravio je autor monografije prilikom terenskog istraživanja o primeni programa resocijalizacije koji se sastoji u radu osuđenika sa psima iz azila za pse u okviru KPZ Sremska Mitrovica. Uključivanjem pomenutih fotografija u ovu monografiju autor je želeo da prikaže fragmente svakodnevice osuđenika i pasa u KPZ Sremska Mitrovica koji su dobili "drugu šansu" - da se resocijalizuju i ponovo pronađu svoje mesto u društvu. Nastojanjem da i vizuelno dočara interakciju između osuđenika i životinja, autor je nastojao da široj javnosti predstavi pozitivno dejstvo koje ona ima i na jedne i na druge. Na taj način omogućeno je da se naučna i šira javnost na jedan sveobuhvatan i potpun način upozna sa sadržajem, smislom i efektima ovog programa, te da stekne ne samo narativni već i vizuelni utisak o njemu. Time se doprinelo da emotivni, transformišući i neretko osvešćujući trenuci iz svakodnevnog rada osuđenika sa psima budu zabeleženi, ali i izneti izvan zatvorskih zidina i predstavljeni zajednici na jedan neposredan način. Inače, ukupno 14 fotografija koje je autor monografije napravio tokom pomenutog terenskog istraživanja (od kojih su se neke našle i u ovoj monografiji) bile su izložene na samostalnoj izložbi autora pod nazivom "Druga šansa" u galeriji Bartselona u Beogradu od 15. do 27. oktobra 2018. godine.
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Dog programs occurring in prison are popular though they lack empirical testing. This study is the first to assess rescue dog programs in two maximum- security prisons, with a sample of male inmates (n = 285). Survey questions regarding the program were assessed qualitatively with the identification of the following key themes: the symbolism of the rescue dog, universal support and spillover effects, reinforcement of positive emotions, hope, coping, and transformation, and a linkage to the outside world. The dogs clearly represented a conduit to positive outcomes for participants and the broader prison institution, however this relationship requires further testing.
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Various positive effects of pet ownership on cardiovascular health are well known. The aim of this prospective and controlled longitudinal study was to determine the effects of everyday dog-walking on physical capacity in elderly patients during the first year after myocardial infarction. Regularly dog-walking for at least 15 minutes three times a day is related to significantly higher work load on the bicycle exercise test (72.5 +/- 10.75 versus 67.6 +/- 11.6 W p < 0.05) in the "dog-walking" group (N = 29, mean age 72.5 years) at 12 months compared to the control group (N = 30, mean age 71.7 years). Our results suggest that dogs may help to maintain continuous physical activity in elderly cardiovascular patients promoting their physical capacity. Further researches are needed to confirm this association as well to identify other possible influences of dog ownership on the cardiovascular health and on the outcome in patients after myocardial infarction.
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Animal-assisted therapy involves interaction between patients and a trained animal, along with its human owner or handler, with the aim of facilitating patients' progress toward therapeutic goals. This study examined whether a session of animal-assisted therapy reduced the anxiety levels of hospitalized psychiatric patients and whether any differences in reductions in anxiety were associated with patients' diagnoses. Study subjects were 230 patients referred for therapeutic recreation sessions. A pre- and posttreatment crossover study design was used to compare the effects of a single animal-assisted therapy session with those of a single regularly scheduled therapeutic recreation session. Before and after participating in the two types of sessions, subjects completed the state scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, a self-report measure of anxiety currently felt. A mixed-models repeated-measures analysis was used to test differences in scores from before and after the two types of sessions. Statistically significant reductions in anxiety scores were found after the animal-assisted therapy session for patients with psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and other disorders, and after the therapeutic recreation session for patients with mood disorders. No statistically significant differences in reduction of anxiety were found between the two types of sessions. Animal-assisted therapy was associated with reduced state anxiety levels for hospitalized patients with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses, while a routine therapeutic recreation session was associated with reduced levels only for patients with mood disorders.
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To determine whether animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is associated with reductions in fear, anxiety, and depression in psychiatric patients before electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Before their scheduled ECT treatment, 35 patients were assigned on alternate days to the treatment condition, consisting of a 15-minute AAT session, and the standard (comparison) condition, consisting of 15 minutes with magazines. Visual analogue scales were used to measure anxiety, fear, and depression before and after treatment and standard conditions. The effect of AAT on fear was significant in both the mixed-model, repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) (p = 0.0006) and the secondary analysis (p = 0.0050), which covaried out all of the demographic conditions (gender, race, marital status, pet ownership, age), condition order, and the pretest rating. The effect of AAT on anxiety approached significance in the ANCOVA (p = 0.0982), but in the secondary analysis, the effect was not significant (p = 0.6498). The AAT effect on depression was not significant in ANCOVA (p = 0.7665) or in the secondary analysis (p = 0.9394). A least squares mean analysis showed that AAT reduced fear by 37% and anxiety by 18%. There was no demonstrated effect of AAT on depression. Animal-assisted therapy may have a useful role in psychiatric and medical therapies in which the therapeutic procedure is inherently fear-inducing or has a negative societal perception.
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To determine whether animal-assisted therapy is effective in the rehabilitation of middle-aged schizophrenic patients living in a social institution. A before and after study with nine-month treatment period. Social institute for psychiatric patients. Seven schizophrenic patients living in the social institute. Weekly sessions of animal-assisted therapy for a nine-month period, each therapeutic session lasting for 50 minutes. MEASURES USED: The Independent Living Skills Survey assessed by an independent rater. After the completion of the therapy significant improvement in the domestic and health activities occurred. Animal-assisted therapy seems to be helpful in the rehabilitation of schizophrenic patients living in a social institution.
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A pets as therapy (PAT) programme was initiated in a closed ward of a major psychiatric hospital. The effect of regular contact with a dog on a selected group of chronic ward-bound patients suffering from dementia was assessed over a 12 week period using a number of measures. These included global measures of daily functioning, physiological measures (blood pressure and heart rate) and a measure of general ward noise levels. A matched group from a similar closed ward was used as a control. Results indicated significant experimental group changes in heart rate and a substantial drop in noise levels in the experimental ward during the presence of the dog.
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Pet Therapy reduces apprehension and is, therefore an important tool in working with children and adolescents. Treatment of animals by children is also indicative of their mental health and healthy development. Cruelty to animals may foretell later abuse to humans providing the link between child and animal abuse. Understanding the role of pets as indicators of individual and family problems enable therapists and other professionals to provide the proper counseling for the situation. This paper presents a describes a group work program cognitive behavioral approach with adolescents in pet therapy as an adjunct to treatment in anger management.
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The use of animals in the promotion or improvement of health is long-standing, yet this complementary healing modality is not widely integrated into mainstream health care. This article describes the history of animals in therapeutic healing, defines animal-assisted interventions (AAIs), and reviews current research. Indications and contraindications for use with patients and clients and issues of safety, cost, reimbursement, and certification are discussed. AAIs result in statistically significant health benefits with improvements in blood pressure, heart rate, and salivary immunoglobulin A levels and in depression, anxiety, perceived quality of health, and loneliness. Although some studies are weak in experimental design, overall research reveals multiple indications with few contraindications for use of AAIs. Adherence to safety and pursuit of certifications helps ensure the success of AAIs. For the continued support and expansion of AAIs, further research is needed into the mechanism of action, settings, characteristics and species of animals, illness conditions, and client populations.
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Using a pretest-posttest design, this study investigates possible influences of animal-assisted therapy (AAT), using a dog, on the state of mind of children and adolescents who have undergone inpatient psychiatric treatment. To measure this, the Basler Befindlichkeits-Skala (BBS) was used, which measures general “state of mind” and provides four sub-scale scores: vitality, intra-emotional balance, social extroversion, and alertness. For Group 1 patients (n = 61, with AAT), the results show highly significant increases in all dimensions of the BBS. These changes were not found in a second group (Group 2, n = 39), in which there was no AAT. There was a significant negative correlation between pretest BBS scores and the change in scores that occurred after therapy incorporating AAT. Among seven patients in Group 1, a deterioration in state of mind was recorded. Under our controlled clinical conditions, an effect size of 0.38 was calculated for the therapy using a dog. Incorporating a dog could catalyze psychotherapeutic work with children and adolescents.
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Animal-assisted therapy has been used in the treatment and rehabilitation of several physical and mental disorders, but its effectiveness for chronic schizophrenic patients has been evaluated in only a few studies. Our purpose was to introduce animal-assisted group therapy in the rehabilitation of severely disabled chronic schizophrenic patients, in order to enhance their communication skills. Five patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (three females, two males, ages ranging from 32 to 71 years), four human members (one therapist, one co-therapist, and the owners of the dogs) and two therapy dogs (a five-year-old, female Boxer and a two-year-old, female Bichon Frise) participated in the therapy on a weekly basis, for a six-month period. The therapy was oriented toward improving non-specific (i.e., general well-being) and specific (i.e., communication patterns) areas of the patients' daily activities. The outcome measure was the change in the patients' nonverbal communication, as measured by an analysis of standardized, video-recorded scenarios registered at the beginning of the therapy, and six month's later, at the end of it. Because two patients completed less than half of the sessions, we analyzed the data of only three patients. Positive changes occurred in some post-treatment nonverbal parameters compared with pre-treatment parameters. All three patients improved in the usage of space during communication, while partial improvement in other domains of nonverbal communication (anatomy of movements, dynamics of gestures, regulator gestures) was also observed. Animal-assisted therapy can improve certain aspects of nonverbal communication in schizophrenic patients. The results of our exploratory study show a need for further investigation, using controlled studies with a larger number of patients.
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Social stimulation is a valuable aspect of therapeutic activities at long-term care facilities, designed to decrease social isolation, maintain or stimulate mental abilities, and increase awareness of the external environment. A study was undertaken at two such facilities to compare the effectiveness of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) with Non-Animal Therapy (NAT) at providing social stimulation, that is, at providing opportunities for patients to engage in social interaction and to initiate social behaviors. While studies have indicated that AAT can improve resident outlook or affect, few have directly studied the social behaviors that might lead to such improvements, or the role the animals themselves might play. We observed 33 patients, both alert and semi- to non-alert, during regular recreational therapy sessions. Most patients were women (29 vs. four men), and geriatric (in their 70's and 80's). Non-Animal Therapies included Arts and Crafts and Snack Bingo, while AAT involved animals from local animal shelters being brought by volunteers to group sessions. Social behaviors naturally divided into Brief Conversations, Long Conversations, and Touch. We determined frequencies and rates of the behaviors, who initiated the behaviors and whether the behaviors were directed at other people or at the animals. Overall, during AAT residents were involved in as much or more conversation with others, including the animals, as residents in Non-Animal Therapy, and were more likely to initiate and participate in longer conversations. The finding that different kinds of therapies seem to encourage different kinds of conversation might be an important consideration when investigating health benefits. The most dramatic differences between therapy types were found in rates of touch: touching the animals during AAT added significantly to resident engagement in, and initiation of, this behavior. Since touch is considered an important part of social stimulation and therapy, the enhancement of this social behavior by the animals is an important, and perhaps undervalued, effect.
Article
We conducted a meta-analysis to determine the effectiveness of animal-assisted activities (AAA) and animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for reducing depressive symptoms in humans. To be included in the meta-analysis, studies had to demonstrate random assignment, include a comparison/control group, use AAA or AAT, use a self-report measure of depression, and report sufficient information to calculate effect sizes, a statistical standardization of the strength of a treatment effect. Five studies were identified for analysis. The aggregate effect size for these studies was of medium magnitude and statistically significant, indicating that AAA/AAT are associated with fewer depressive symptoms. This analysis revealed gaps in the research on AAA/AAT, which we attempted to identify in order to better understand the factors that make AAA and AAT effective at reducing depression.
Article
A pets as therapy (PAT) programme was initiated in a closed ward of a major psychiatric hospital. The effect of regular contact with a dog on a selected group of chronic ward-bound patients suffering from dementia was assessed over a 12 week period using a number of measures. These included global measures of daily functioning, physiological measures (blood pressure and heart rate) and a measure of general ward noise levels. A matched group from a similar closed ward was used as a control. Results indicated significant experimental group changes in heart rate and a substantial drop in noise levels in the experimental ward during the presence of the dog.
Article
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has been used as a therapeutic tool in various psychiatric populations, but there have been no published studies with elderly schizophrenic patients. The authors evaluated, in a blinded, controlled manner, the effects of AAT in a closed psychogeriatric ward over 12 months. Subjects were 10 elderly schizophrenic patients and 10 matched patients (mean age: 79.1+/-6.7 years). The outcome measure was the Scale for Social Adaptive Functioning Evaluation (SAFE). AAT was conducted in weekly 4-hour sessions. Treatment encouraged mobility, interpersonal contact, and communication and reinforced activities of daily living (ADLs), including personal hygiene and independent self-care, through the use of cats and dogs as "modeling companions." The SAFE scores at termination showed significant improvement compared with baseline scores and were significantly more positive for the AAT group on both Total SAFE score and on the Social Functions subscale. AAT proved a successful tool for enhancing socialization, ADLs, and general well-being.
Article
The present study quantitatively evaluated the effects of interaction with dogs on children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), disorders characterized by lack of social communications and abilities. While interacting with a therapist, children were exposed to three different conditions: (a) a nonsocial toy (ball), (b) a stuffed dog, and (c) a live dog. Prosocial and nonsocial interactions were evaluated in terms of both behavioral and verbal dimensions. Results show that children exhibited a more playful mood, were more focused, and were more aware of their social environments when in the presence of a therapy dog. These findings indicate that interaction with dogs may have specific benefits for this population and suggest that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) may be an appropriate forrm of therapy
Article
The effects of a therapeutic recreation intervention using animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on the agitated behaviors and social interactions of older adults with dementia were examined using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and the Animal-Assisted Therapy Flow Sheet. In a pilot study, 15 nursing home residents with dementia participated in a daily AAT intervention for three weeks. Results showed statistically significant decreases in agitated behaviors and a statistically significant increase in social interaction pretest to post-test.
Article
Multidisciplinary mental health rehabilitation settings often encounter patients with complex comorbid medical and psychiatric issues that require integrative, multifaceted treatment strategies. Although medication and psychotherapy are typical treatment mainstays, a broader variety of therapeutic options are available, including animal-assisted therapy. Here we describe a patient who received animal-assisted therapy as a psychiatric rehabilitation tool to ameliorate his atypical depression following an assault and subsequent head injury. A review of the relevant literature highlights the therapeutic potential of animal-assisted therapy to restore and maintain patient independence and level of functioning, both of which are key treatment goals.