‘Animals are used to help humans in different ways. Studies suggest that the effects of pet ownership can be beneficial to physical, social and psychological wellbeing. Research has found that stroking a pet can be relaxing and can result in a reduction in blood pressure. The presence of pets can also promote social interaction and reduce psychological responses to anxiety’ Hall & Malpus (2000) Pets as therapy: effects on social interaction p. 2220. Use this guide to find information resources about animal assisted interventions including books, journal articles and reports.
Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust (2011) Animals within healthcare settings policy, Hampshire.
Fine A H (2015) Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: foundations and guidelines for animal-assisted interventions (4th ed.). San Diego: Elsevier Science.
RCN Public Lecture: From detection dogs to therapy pets: animals in health.
BBC News: Don't be scared to let animals on wards, say nurses (21st June 2017).
PetsAsTherapy Flickr (photos).
Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Vienna (2016) Publications and recommended reading webpage.
Author of this guide
RCN Library and Archive Services