Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is characterized by integrating animals into the therapy process as a therapeutic partner and modality (Laskowski et. al., 2019). AAT shows positive outcomes for those who take part in the practice (Ein et. al., 2018; Feng et. al., 2021; Mapes & Rosén, 2016; Nieforth et. al., 2021). Common goals that are targeted via AAT include anxiety and related symptoms, depression and related symptoms, coordination, fine motor skills, reaching, hand-eye coordination, body balance, body awareness, communication, and relationship building (Ein et. al., 2018; Feng et. al., 2021; Mapes & Rosén, 2016; Nieforth et. al., 2021). Even with the growing database of supportive literature, there is a gap in knowledge among occupational therapy practitioners regarding AAT and the identification of clients who would benefit from this therapeutic modality (Velde et al., 2005).
Cheatley, Rachel, "EXPLORING NATURE-BASED AND ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPIES AS A THERAPEUTIC MODALITY" (2023). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 556.