Animal-Assisted Therapy Effect On Hospitalized Children
This study examined the effects of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on the cardiovascular responses, anxiety, and medical fears of hospitalized children and found that AAT may help children cope better in a hospital setting.
Hospitalization is a stressful experience for children that may lead to negative physiological and psychological effects. This study examined the effects of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on the stress level of children in a hospital setting.
During these experiments, the heart rate and blood pressure of children were measured pre-, during, and post- visits with AAT animals. The findings suggest that the cardiovascular effect of AAT may continue for at least a few minutes after the AAT ends, although the anxiety and fear levels exhibited by the children did not differ after the AAT visits. Overall, this research indicates that AAT may be useful in helping children cope better in a hospital setting.