Article

Animal-assisted therapy with farm animals for persons with psychiatric disorders

Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway.
Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita (Impact Factor: 1.11). 01/2011; 47(4):384-90. DOI: 10.4415/ANN_11_04_10
Source: PubMed

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.

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    • "To the best of our knowledge, there have been no systematic reviews of the Nordic literature on Green Care. Berget and Braastad (2011) published an international review that summarised published studies regarding animal-assisted interventions with farm animals for people with mental disorders. Pedersen (2011) also presents an overview of international literature on Green Care in her doctoral thesis, and in both of these surveys, the searches were limited to scientific articles. "
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews Nordic literature on Green Care for people out of work or school, or with mental health- and/or drug-related problems, published from 1995 to April 2014. Green Care is a well-established international concept that uses animals, plants and nature in an active process to offer health-promoting activities for people. Reports, evaluations and scientific articles are included. The main finding was that the Green Care services described in the literature provided positive activities for our target group. Seven main categories emerged during the analysis: mastery and coping, positive effects on mental health, physical activity, structure and meaningfulness, the feeling of dignity produced by performing a decent ordinary job, social gains, animals and nature experienced as being supportive. Essential intervention factors identified can be described as: (i) contact with animals, (ii) supportive natural environments, (iii) the service leader as a significant important other, (iv) social acceptance and fellowship with other participants and (v) meaningful and individually adapted activities in which mastery can be experienced. These five components interact in a holistic way; the synergetic effects extend the sum of the single factors.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · European Journal of Social Work
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    • "To the best of our knowledge, there have been no systematic reviews of the Nordic literature on Green Care. Berget and Braastad (2011) published an international review that summarised published studies regarding animal-assisted interventions with farm animals for people with mental disorders. Pedersen (2011) also presents an overview of international literature on Green Care in her doctoral thesis, and in both of these surveys, the searches were limited to scientific articles. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This article reviews Nordic literature on Green Care for people out of work or school, or with mental health- and/or drug-related problems, published from 1995 to April 2014. Green Care is a well-established international concept that uses animals, plants and nature in an active process to offer health-promoting activities for people. Reports, evaluations and scientific articles are included. The main finding was that the Green Care services described in the literature provided positive activities for our target group. Seven main categories emerged during the analysis: mastery and coping, positive effects on mental health, physical activity, structure and meaningfulness, the feeling of dignity produced by performing a decent ordinary job, social gains, animals and nature experienced as being supportive. Essential intervention factors identified can be described as: (i) contact with animals, (ii) supportive natural environments, (iii) the service leader as a significant important other, (iv) social acceptance and fellowship with other participants and (v) meaningful and individually adapted activities in which mastery can be experienced. These five components interact in a holistic way; the synergetic effects extend the sum of the single factors.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · European Journal of Social Work
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    • "The term " care farm " has been used in Europe to refer to the use of commercial farms and agricultural landscapes for the promotion of human health, social inclusion, and educational benefits through farm activity (Berget & Braastad, 2011). The numbers of such farms in Europe is steadily growing. "
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    ABSTRACT: Romania is currently making efforts to deinstitutionalize residents of its mental health hospitals and initiate a system of community-based mental health care. To be successful, the system of community-based mental health care must include a network of caring and responsible people who are committed to helping those who are mentally ill meet their needs while reintegrating into and remaining a part of the community. Therapeutic farm communities (TFC), or care farms (CF) as they are known in Europe, can serve as a critical component in efforts to assist mentally ill individuals regain their stability and independence. TFCs, which often focus on individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, promote self-sufficiency through their therapeutic use of farming-related activities, including organic farming and animal care. In addition to farm maintenance activities, programming may include mood management, dialectical behavior therapy, creative expression, equine assisted learning, meditation, education, money management training, and independent living skills activities (planning, shopping, cooking, healthy living), and medication management. This paper first reviews the use of TFCs in Europe and the US, focusing on Hopewell as a model for the US TFCs, and examines the suitability and sustainability of the TFC/CF model for mentally ill persons in Romania in the context of Romania's current political and economic climate.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
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