Archive for the 'Animal-assisted Therapy' Category
National Pet Week is May 2-8.
Nurse Janet Eggiman reports a 10-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder and a history of physical and sexual abuse. Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) was used as part of a broader cognitive behavioral therapy, with a dramatic change in behavior.
Interesting, but of greater interest is the literature review of the history of AAT presented by Ms. Eggiman.
Research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that psychosocial factors, such as cynical distrust, chronic stress, and depression are associated with higher blood levels of C-reactive protein (associated with acute inflammatory reactions), interleukin-6 (stimulates an immune response to tissue damage), and fibrinogen (causes blood to clot).
All are related to an increased risk of heart disease.
What can we do about this?
Dr. Susan Levy reviewed charts for 284 patients at the Regional Autism Center, which is associated with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She found that 32% of the children were using CAM.
Here’s why her work is important.
This is relevant because of the importance of animal-assisted therapy, and because I love little kittens and puppies.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston forbids pet visits, because of their concern about infection and allergic reactions. I’s a reasonable position. However, I am unable to find any reports where infections increased in hospitals when animal-assisted activity (AAA) or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) was used.
That’s not to say they don’t carry bacteria.