Animal-assisted therapy used for anxiety disorders in patients with learning disabilities: An observational study

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Version: Final published version
License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_4E68532CD0FC
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Animal-assisted therapy used for anxiety disorders in patients with learning disabilities: An observational study
Journal
European Journal of Integrative Medicine
Author(s)
Giuliani Fabienne, Jacquemettaz Morgane
ISSN
1876-3820
Publication state
Published
Issued date
09/2017
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
14
Pages
13-19
Language
english
Abstract
Introduction: Animal-assisted therapy is defined as the positive interaction between an animal and a patient within a therapeutic framework. Previous studies have reported on the beneficial effects of animal-assisted therapy with patients suffering from anxiety, a major challenge for professionals caring for patients with intellectual disability. The presence of psychiatric comorbidities such as depression or anxiety within this population is two to four times higher than in the general population. Finding new treatment options for such anxiety disorders is important. The aim of this observational study was to explore whether the level of anxiety decreased when a dog was present during therapy for people with learning disability. Method: This was an observational study which involved 53 adult patients with mild learning disabilities (26 men) average age, 36.5 +/- 11.2 years. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was completed by participants with the therapist, before and after two 30-min therapeutic sessions, one in the presence of a dog and the other with only the therapist. Results: The STAI score significantly decreased after the session with the dog, which was not the case after the session without the dog). After the animal-assisted session, the STAI score was significantly lower (Z = -4.654; p < 0.0001), which was not the case for the session without the dog (Z = -1.054; p = 0.295). There was a significant difference in anxiety between men and women. Conclusion: Results suggest that there are positive benefits of animal-assisted therapy for individuals with learning disabilities which require confirmation in a randomized controlled trial.
Keywords
Complementary and alternative medicine, Complementary and alternative medicine
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
07/09/2017 15:27
Last modification date
23/01/2020 7:19
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