Animal-assisted therapy as a pain relief intervention for children

Carie Braun, Teresa Stangler, Jennifer Narveson, Sandra L Pettingell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a healing modality involving a patient, an animal therapist, and handler with a goal of achieving a specified therapeutic outcome. Despite the myriad of studies documenting the benefits of AAT, no studies have yet determined the impact of animals on alleviation of pain in children. Therefore, a quasi-experimental intervention design was used to capture the change in pain and vital signs with (n = 18) or without (n = 39) AAT in children ages 3-17 in one acute care pediatric setting. The AAT intervention group experienced a significant reduction in pain level compared to the control group, t(55) = -2.86, p = .006. Although blood pressure and pulse were not impacted, respiratory rates became significantly higher in the AAT group (by an average of 2.22 breaths/min) as compared to the control group, t(55) = -2.63, p = .011. This study provides further support to the numerous health benefits of AAT, particularly for children in pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-109
Number of pages5
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2009

Fingerprint

Animal Assisted Therapy
Pain
Control Groups
Vital Signs
Insurance Benefits
Respiratory Rate
Research Design
Pediatrics
Blood Pressure

Keywords

  • Animal-assisted intervention
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Pain
  • Pet therapy

Cite this

Animal-assisted therapy as a pain relief intervention for children. / Braun, Carie; Stangler, Teresa; Narveson, Jennifer; Pettingell, Sandra L.

In: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Vol. 15, No. 2, 01.05.2009, p. 105-109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Braun, Carie ; Stangler, Teresa ; Narveson, Jennifer ; Pettingell, Sandra L. / Animal-assisted therapy as a pain relief intervention for children. In: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2009 ; Vol. 15, No. 2. pp. 105-109.
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