This qualitative study was designed using a combination of research methods to explore the benefits of using animal-assisted therapy with vulnerable populations. An analysis of the literature revealed that animal-assisted therapy is a long-standing method of treatment but there is limited empirical research that can prove its effectiveness. The research that has been done shows evidence of success among children, patients with mental illness, and older adults. Sources of Data The findings were based on 11 semi-structured interviews with animal-assisted intervention teams. Conclusions Reached The findings suggest that animal assisted intervention can help increase socialization and motivation in children, improve cognition in older adults, and help regulate emotions in mental health patients. Due to a small sample size and the limits of a small demographic area this sample may not represent a complete analysis of the current usage of animal-assisted therapy but it does present valid research to prompt future studies on a larger scale.
|Publisher||California State University Sacramento|
|Degree||Master of Social Work|
|University||California State University Sacramento|
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