Pets as therapy: effects on social interaction in long-stay psychiatry

Br J Nurs. 2000;9(21):2220-5. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2000.9.21.5425.


Many studies have suggested that health and social benefits may be derived from pet ownership or visitation upon interaction levels within severely mentally ill populations. The study featured in this article aimed to examine further this relationship while attempting to control for the effects of an extraneous variable (the human dog handler) using an A-B-C-A reversal design. The article concludes that the presence of a pet does, indeed, promote social interactions within a long-stay psychiatric population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Dogs*
  • Human-Animal Bond*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Verbal Behavior