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The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Anxiety and Depression among Nursing Home Patients - Research Paper Example

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  This research shows successful positive results as to find out Effects of Animal Assisted Therapy on Anxiety and Depression among Nursing Home Patients. The study concludes that more doctors and practitioners should apply this therapeutic treatment.  …
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The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Anxiety and Depression among Nursing Home Patients
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The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Anxiety and Depression among Nursing Home Patients

 The relation between animals and humans has always been a powerful bond. For many years, this bond has remained a source of relief and solace for many people who are suffering or have suffered from emotional or physical pain. This relationship regarding healing power is practiced today and is known as Animal Assisted Therapy or pet therapy (Le Roux and Kemp, 2009). Animal-assisted therapy Animal Assisted Therapy or AAT is a form of therapy in which animals are involved for treatment. AAT helps in improving patient’s emotional, social or cognitive functioning. The animals which assist in the therapeutic treatment include farm animals, domesticated pets, and marine mammals. Animal-Assisted Therapy is used to help children and adults in cases where they have experienced neglect, abuse, depression, anxiety, undergoing chemotherapy or through other medical treatments etc. Today, Animal Assisted Therapy is gaining much importance and it is noted that it will grow into mainstream healthcare practices. Dogs are mostly used for this therapy as they are classified as facilitators to recovery, preventers of sickness and as the predictors of bad health. Moreover, dogs also have excellent sociability and training skills. AAT therapy is now recognized by almost all medical and healthcare professionals. The therapy is basically meant to treat depression, mental disorders, anger, stress, anxiety, loneliness, other mood disorders and psychological health of individuals (Stasi, Amati, and Costa, 2004). Anxiety and stress are regarded as a major cause of diseases of cardiovascular areas. It has been hypothesized by researchers that comrade animals may provide to lessen anxiety and stress levels (Siegel, 1990). Numerous instigators have reported lesser readings for blood pressure among children and adults in the presence of such a companion animal during worrying activities.Animals have been associated with positive effects on patients in a variety of healthcare settings (Friedman et al, 1983). The initial introduction of animals to such settings involved frequent visits to the treatment programs. However, now animals are intentionally involved in treatments via numerous interventions included in the animal-assisted therapy. Over the past few decades, Animal-assisted therapy or Pet Therapy has gained extensive application and support in almost all parts of the world. In this therapy, the animals are provided with special pieces of training before their interaction with patients. AAT has been shown to have positive mental, physical, motivational and educational effects on participants (Johnson and Haubner, 2008). That is the reason why this therapy is largely used for rehabilitation and recovery of mood disorders. The studies by Muschel, Gagnon et al., Wells, Schnipper and Weber (1984, 2004, 1998, 2005 and 2004) investigated the effect of Animal Assisted Therapy on the cancer patient. All these studies concluded that cancer patients were benefitted from this therapy.   ... Read More
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