[Animal- assisted therapy in health care facilities]

Rev Chilena Infectol. 2005 Sep;22(3):257-63. doi: 10.4067/s0716-10182005000300007. Epub 2005 Aug 2.
[Article in Spanish]


Animal-assisted therapy is a novel interventional program with important benefits in the management of patients with chronic diseases and prolonged hospitalization. The relationship between animals and patients facilitates adaptation to a new, stressing hospital environment, helps in diminishing anxiety, stress, pain and blood pressure and increases mobility and muscular strength. This therapy can be developed by pets themselves or by specially trained animals. Dogs are the most frequently used animals because of their training and sociability skills. Patients and animals participating in these programs require special care in order to avoid transmission of infectious diseases associated with pets, hypersensitivity and accidents during their visits. Implementation of animal - assisted therapy in care centers requires a permanent revision of suggested guidelines and program objectives.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / classification
  • Animals, Domestic / psychology*
  • Birds
  • Cats
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Dogs
  • Hospitalization*
  • Human-Animal Bond*
  • Humans
  • Rabbits
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control