Green Care (GC) and Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) are recognised practices useful to enhance the wellbeing of people through interaction with nature and animals. This study aims at understanding the interconnections between GC and AAI by analysing deeply which interaction with animals is conducted. Therefore, we carried out a literature search through Web of Science and Google Scholar that allowed retrieval of 993 records; after the PRISMA selection process, 42 were included. Relevant information was extracted: year of publication, geographical location, objectives, settings in agricultural environment, animal species, characteristics of users involved, type of human-animal interaction, coexistence of other activities without animals, animal health and welfare issues. From the review emerged that research on GC with animals is common in high-income countries and that the line between AAI and occupational therapy is often vague. Moreover, the most common setting for these interventions appears to be the farm, and frequently animals involved are not selected according to their ethological characteristics. Users in this context are extremely various and not only involved in activities with animals. Within the included studies, we noted a lack in the consideration of animal welfare that indicates the need for increased awareness among practitioners and a more ethical approach when animals are involved.
|Publication Title||Int J Environ Res Public Health|
|Author Address||National Reference Centre for Animal Assisted Interventions, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Viale dell'Università 10, 35020 Legnaro, Italy.Department of Veterinary Science, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge 2, 56122 Pisa, Italy.|
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