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Effects of animal-assisted therapy on social behaviour in patients with acquired brain injury : a randomised controlled trial

Hediger, Karin and Thommen, Stefan and Wagner, Cora and Gaab, Jens and Hund-Georgiadis, Margret. (2019) Effects of animal-assisted therapy on social behaviour in patients with acquired brain injury : a randomised controlled trial. Scientific reports, 9. p. 5831.

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Abstract

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is increasingly used to address impaired social competence in patients with acquired brain injury. However, the efficacy of AAT has not been tested in these patients. We used a randomised, controlled within subject trial to determine the effects of AAT on social competence in patients undergoing stationary neurorehabilitation. Participants received both AAT sessions and paralleled conventional therapy sessions. The patients' social behaviour was systematically coded on the basis of video recordings of therapy sessions. Moreover, mood, treatment motivation and satisfaction was measured during each therapy session. We analysed 222 AAT and 219 control sessions of 19 patients with linear mixed models. Patients showed a significantly higher amount of social behaviour during AAT. Furthermore, patients' positive emotions, verbal and non-verbal communication, mood, treatment motivation and satisfaction were increased in the presence of an animal. Neutral emotions were reduced but no effect was found regarding negative emotions. Our results show that AAT increases aspects of social competence and leads to higher emotional involvement of patients with acquired brain injury, reflected in higher social engagement, motivation and satisfaction during a therapeutic session.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Human and Animal Health > One Health (Zinsstag)
UniBasel Contributors:Hediger, Karin
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer Nature
ISSN:0169-5487
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:23 Apr 2019 09:38
Deposited On:23 Apr 2019 09:38

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