- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- PURPOSE: The purpose of this review is to explore the effects of animal assisted therapy on decreasing anxiety and pain and improving the quality of life in hospitalized pediatric patients. BACKGROUND: Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is the utilization of animals as a therapeutic modality to facilitate healing and rehabilitation of patients with acute or chronic diseases. This therapeutic method has been steadily increasing since the 1930s. Animal assisted therapy is versatile and can be utilized in a variety of healthcare settings including oncology units, intensive care units, and long-term facilities. There is also variety within animal assisted therapy sessions such as one-on-one or group. Animal assisted therapy is one viable option used to decrease anxiety and pain, and to therefore help with increasing quality of life for the patients. There are other therapies and pharmacological options available, but animal assisted therapy is one that provides many benefits with few side effects. METHODS: A systematized review was conducted to identify current literature published within the past 10 years related to animal assisted therapy. The sample populations included pediatrics (0-18 years old) with situational anxiety and/or pain found in hospital or outpatient settings. Ten articles were included, two that were mixed methods and eight quantitative. Articles were considered for inclusion if they were published (1) within the past 10 years, (2) peer reviewed (3) original research articles about (4) the effect of animal assisted therapy on anxiety, pain, and quality life in pediatric patients. RESULTS: Four of six studies concluded that AAT decreased anxiety. Four of six studies demonstrated a significant decrease in pain with AAT. Three studies measured quality of life and found AAT to improve mood and happiness among patients. CONCLUSION: Animal assisted therapy can yield effects across medically relevant outcomes consisting specifically of anxiety and pain, consequently improving quality of life among the pediatric population. Further studies should be conducted to continue studying the effects of animal assisted therapy on patients anxiety, pain, stress, and depression.
- Dissertation Note:
- B.S. Pennsylvania State University 2020.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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