ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY is a therapeutic nursing intervention that brings animals together with persons with physical and/or emotional needs as a way of meeting those needs. It is based on the growing knowledge of benefits that animals provide to the sick, elderly, and isolated. A model for a responsible and outcome-oriented program in animal-assisted therapy in acute care settings is described in this article. Special areas include: types of therapy, specific treatment goals, patient and animal suitability, environmental considerations, and evaluation methods.
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