Complementary psychosocial interventions in child and adolescent psychiatry: pet assisted therapy

Indian J Psychol Med. 2014 Jan;36(1):4-8. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.127240.


Pet assisted therapy (PAT) is a form of complementary psychosocial intervention used in the field of mental health and disability. The form of therapy has the potential to augment the other forms of psychotherapies and pharmacotherapy. This article is an overview of history and clinical origins of PAT, classification and therapy models, scientific basis, the current use in specific disorders, preventive and diagnostic role as well as the potential risks among children and adolescents with mental health needs with a special focus on the Indian needs. A systematic electronic search strategy was undertaken to identify the intervention effectiveness of PAT in MedLine (PubMed), cochrane database of systematic reviews, high-wire press and Google Scholar. We augmented our electronic search with a search of additional articles in reference lists of retrieved articles, as well as a hand search available journals that were not indexed in any electronic database in consultation with colleagues and experts. To qualify for inclusion, studies were required to meet predetermined criteria regarding study design, study population, interventions evaluated and outcome measured to reduce the publication bias.

Keywords: Adolescent; India; child; pet; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review