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Studies conducted over the last decade indicate that regular contact with a pet reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, encourages exercise, promotes intimacy and contributes to a general feeling of well being. The interaction between human and animals even aid in recovery from serious illness and promote a longer life. Here are some resources that explore the Human & Animal Healing Link.

Abstracts, Articles, and Bibliographies

Cortisol Concentrations in Saliva of Humans and Their Dogs in Intensive Training Courses in Animal-Assisted Therapy. Haubenhofer, D., Möstl, E., Kirchengast, S. Veterinary Medicine Austria = Wiener Tierärztliche Monatsschrift, 92(3) 2006 Mar:66-73.

Measuring Stress and Immune Response in Healthcare Professionals Following Interation with a Therapy Dog: A Pilot Study. S.B. Barker; J.S. Knisely; N.L; N.L. McCain: A.M. Best. -

The Healing Power of Dogs: Cocoa's Story . Cangelosi, P.R., Embrey, C.N. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2006 Jan; 44(1):17-20.

Frontal Midline Theta Activity As a Index of the Efficacy of Animal-Assisted Therapy in Cases of Math Anxiety. Brubaker, A.S., Lau, J.K., San Miguel, M.,Geisler, M.W. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 2004; 54:158-9.

The Therapeutic Nature of the Human/Animal Bond: Implications for Integrative Public Health. Benda, W. Integrative Medicine, 3(3) 2004 Jun/Jul: 26-30.

It's All in the Planning. Reynolds, Alison. SCAS Journal, 2008 Summer; 20(2): 16-18.

?Is Karl In?' Paws That Heal. Whittington, Anne E.American Journal of Nursing, 2008 Jul; 108(7): 31-34. Correspondence to Whittington, Health and Wellness Department, Naval Medical Center San Diego, 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego, CA, 92134-5000 USA; anne.whittington@med.navy.mil

Health Benefits of Animal-Assisted Interventions . Morrison, Michele L. Complementary Health Practice Review, 2007 Jan; 12(1): 51-62. Review article. Correspondence to Morrison; morrisonRN@hotmail.com

Dog Handlers' and Dogs' Emotional and Cortisol Secretion Responses Associated with Animal-Assisted Therapy Sessions . Haubenhofer, Dorit Karla; Kirchengast, Sylvia. Society & Animals, 2007; 15(2): 127-150.

Animal-Assisted Therapy with Children Suffering From Insecure Attachment Due to Abuse and Neglect: A Method to Lower the Risk of Intergenerational Transmission of Abuse? Parish-Plass, Nancy. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2008; 13(1): 7-30.

The Role of Therapy Dogs in Speed and Accuracy to Complete Motor Skills Tasks for Preschool Children. Gee, N. R., Harris S. L., Johnson, Kristina. Anthrozoos, 20 (4) 2007: 375-386.

Canine Visitation (Pet) Therapy: Pilot Data on Decrease in Child Pain Perception. Sobo, E. J., Eng, B., Kassity-Krich, N. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 24(1) 2006 Mar:51-7.

School-Based Social Training With and Without Dogs: Evaluation of Their Effectiveness. Tissen, I., Hergovich, A., Spiel, C., Anthrozoos, 20 (4) 2007: 365-373.

Social Effects of a Dog's Presence on Children with Disabilities. Esteves, S. W., Stokes, T, Anthrozoos, 21 (1) 2008: 5-15.

"What Are All These Dogs Doing at School?" Using Therapy Dogs to Promote Children's Reading Practice . Jalongo, M.R. Childhood Education, 2005 Spring; 81(3):152-8.

Elephant-Facilitated Psychotherapy - A Clinical Evaluation. Swanepoel, H.C., Odendaal, J.S.J. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 2005; 3(1):205-9.

Learning from Dolphins . Stringer, J. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2004 Feb; 10(1):61-3.

Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Benefits Students and Children . Roberts, F., Bradberry, J., Williams, C. Holist Nurs Pract. 2004 Jan-Feb; 18(1):32-5.

Influences of Hippotherapy on the Motor and Social-Emotional Behavior of Young Children with Disabilities . Rolandelli, P.S., Dunst, C.J. Bridges: Practice-Based Research Syntheses, 2003 Sep; 2(1):1-14.

Analysis of Child-Dog Play Behavior in Child Psychiatry. Prothmann, A., Albrecht, K., Dietrich, S., Hornfeck, U., Stieber, S., Ettrich, C. Anthrozoös. 2005; 18(1):43-58

Canine Visitors: The Influence of Therapy Dogs on Young Children's Learning and Well-being in Classrooms and Hospitals . Jalongo. M.R., Astorino, T., Bomboy, N. Early Childhood Education Journal. Aug 2004; 32(1):9-16

Implementing a Hospital-Based Animal Therapy Program for Children with Cancer: A Descriptive Study . Gagnon, J., Bouchard, F., Landry, M., Belles-Isles, M., Fortier, M., Fillion, L. Can Oncol Nurs J. 2004 Fall; 14(4):217-22.

The Value of a Dog in a Classroom of Children with Severe Emotional Disorders. K. Anderson and M. Olson

Canine Visitation (Pet) Therapy Pilot Data on Decreases in Child Pain Perception. E. Sobo, B. Eng, and N. Kassity-Krich

Can a Week of Therapeutic Riding Make a Difference? - A Pilot Study. L. Kaiser, L. Spence, A. Lavergne and K. Vanden Bosch

Animal-Assisted Therapy with Children. D. Buttram

Assistance Dog Placement in the Pediatric Population: Benefits, Risks, and Recommendations for Future Application. B.W. Davis, K. Nattrass, S. O'Brien, G. Patronek, and M. MacCollin

Behavior of Dolphins Towards Adults and Children During Swim-With-Dolphin Programs and Towards Children with Disabilities During Therapy Sessions. K. Brensing and K. Link

The Proposed Benefits of Incorporating Non-Human Animals Into Preventative Efforts for Conduct Disorder. E. Gullone

  • Autism

Occupational Therapy Incorporating Animals for Children with Autism: A Pilot Investigation. Sams, M. J., Fortney, E. V., Willenbring, S. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(3) 2006 May/Jun:268-74.

The Golden Bridge: A Guide to Assistance Dogs for Children Challenged By Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities. Patty Dobbs Gross. North Star Foundation, 2005.

Prison Pups: Assessing the Effects of Dog Training Programs in Correctional Facilities. Britton, D. M., Button, A. Journal of Family Social Work, 9(4) 2005:79-95.

Humanizing prisons with animals: a closer look at "cell dogs" and horse programs in correctional institutions. Deaton, C. Journal of Correctional Education, 56(1) 2005 Mar:46-62.

Without Words to Get in the Way: Symbolic Interaction in Prison-Based Animal Programs. Furst, G. Qualitative Sociology Review, 3(1) 2007 Apr:96-109.

Prison-Based Animal Programs: A National Survey. Furst, G. Prison Journal, 86(4) 2006 Dec:407-30.

Human-Animal Interaction in a Prison Setting: Impact on Criminal Behavior, Treatment Progress, and Social Skills. Fournier, A. K., Geller, E S., Fortney, E. V. Behavior and Social Issues, 16(1) 2007 Spring-Summer: 89-105.

Psychosocial Impact of a Service Dog Training Program on Inmate Trainers. H. M. Suthers-McCabe, E. E. Van Voorhees and A. K. Fournier

The Cat Programme, An Animal-Assisted Therapy at Saxierriet Prison for Men: Its Effects and Results in a Correctional Establishment. M.A. Nadine Nef

Animal-Assisted Therapy in Patients Hospitalized with Heart Failure . Cole, K. M., Gawlinski, A., Steers, N., Kotlerman, J. American Journal of Critical Care, 16(6) 2007 November: 575-588.

Animal-Assisted Activity at A. Meyer Children's Hospital: A Pilot Study. Caprilli, Simona; Messeri, Andrea. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 2006 Sep; 3(3): 379-83.

Animal-Assisted Therapy and Loneliness in Nursing Homes: Use of Robotic Versus Living dogs . Banks, Marian R; Willoughby, Lisa M; Banks, William A. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2008 Mar; 9(3): 173-177. Correspondence to William A Banks, 915 N Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63106.

The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Loneliness in an Elderly Population in Long-Term Care Facilities .Banks, MR, Banks, WA, Journal of Gerontology, 2002, 57(7):28-32.Nursing Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri 63106, USA. bankswa@slu.edu

Observable Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy Using Dogs. Hjaltadóttir, I., Pétursdóttir, A. B., Saemundsdóttir, G., Vikingsdóttir, G. L., Atladóttir, I. International Psychogeriatrics, 15 Supplement.2, 2003: 283-4.

Long-Term Evaluation of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Institutionalized Elderly People: A Preliminary Result. Kawamura, N., Niiyama, M., Niiyama, H. Psychogeriatrics, 7(1) 2007 Mar:8-13.

Pet therapy and Institutionalized Elderly: A Study on 144 Cognitively Unimpaired Subjects. Colombo, G., Dello Buono, M., Smania, K., Raviola, R., De Leo, D. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 42(2) 2006 Mar-Apr:207-16.

The Effects of Group and Individual Animal-Assisted Therapy on Loneliness in Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities. M. Banks and W. Banks

Evaluation of Stress Response of Horses in Equine Assisted Therapy Programs. H. M. Suthers-McCabe and L. Albanao

Animal-Assisted Therapy with Farm Animals for Persons with Psychiatric Disorders: Effects on Self-Efficacy, Coping Ability and Quality of Life, A Randomized Controlled Trial . Berget, Bente; Ekeberg, Øivind; Braastad, Bjarne O. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 2008 Apr 11; 4(9): no paging (7 pages in pdf format).

The Use of Animal-Assisted Therapy in Psychiatric Nursing: The Story of Timmy and Buddy. Niksa, E. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 45(6) 2007 Jun:56-8.

Effects of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy on Client Discharge Status. Turner, J. J. Scientific and Educational Journal of Therapeutic Riding, [no.11] 2005:31-9.

An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Nonverbal Communication in Three Schizophrenic Patients. Kovács, Z., Bulucz, J., Kis, R., Simon, L. Anthrozoös, 19(4) 2006:353-64.

Animal-Assisted Therapy for Middle-Aged Schizophrenic Patients Living in a Social Institution. A Pilot Study . Kovacs, Z., Kis, R., Rozsa, S., Rozsa, L. Clin Rehabil. 2004 Aug; 18(5):483-6.

Pet Companionship and Depression: Results from a United States Internet Sample. R. B. Tower and M. Nokota

Randomized Controlled Trial of Animal Facilitated Therapy with Dolphins in the Treatment of Depression. C. Antonioli and M. A. Reveley

Effect of Aquariums on Electroconvulsive Therapy Patients. S. Barker, K. Rasmussen and A. Best

Case Studies of Adults Receiving Horse-Riding Therapy. H. Burgon


Interaction of Psychologically Disturbed Children with a Therapy Dog. A. Prothmann, S. Stieber, U. Hornfeck, S. Dietrich, K. Albrecht and C. Ettrich.

  • Therapeutic Riding

The Effect of Hippotherapy on Postural Control in Sitting for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Hamill, Darrell; Washington, Kathleen; White, Owen R. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 2007; 27(4): 23-42.

The Effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Experiential Therapy: Results of An Open Clinical Trial . Klontz, Bradley T; Bivens, Alex; Leinart, Deb; Klontz, Ted. Society & Animals, 2007; 15(3): 257-267.

Therapeutic Value of Equine-Human Bonding in Recovery from Trauma . Yorke, Jan; Adams, Cindy; Coady, Nick. Anthrozoös, 2008 Mar; 21(1): 17-30. Correspondence to Yorke, Georgian College, 825 Memorial Drive, Box 2316, Orillia, ON Canada L3V 6S2; jyorke@georgianc.on.ca

Effects of a Therapeutic Riding Program on At-Risk and Special Education Children. Kaiser, L., Heleski, C. R., Siegford, J., Smith, K. A. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 228 (1) 2006 Jan 1: 46-52.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding: Its Effects on Gait and Gross Motor Function in children with Cerebral Palsy. Low, S., Collins, G., Dhagat, C., Hanes, P., Adams, J., Fischbach, R. Scientific and Educational Journal of Therapeutic Riding, [no.11] 2005: 12-24.

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy: A Mental Health Promotion/Intervention Modality for Children Who Have Experienced Intra-Family Violence. Schultz, P. N., Remick-Barlow, G. A., Robbins, L. Health and Social Care in the Community, 15(3) 2007 May:265-71.

Effects of Hippotherapy on Postural Stability in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study. Silkwood-Sherer, D., Warmbier, H. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy: JNPT, 31(2) 2007 Jun:77-84.

The Effect of Hippotherapy on Spasticity and on Mental Well-Being of Persons with Spinal Cord Injury. Lechner, H. E., Kakebeeke, T. H., Hegemann, D., Baumberger, M. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88(10) 2007 Oct: 1241-8.

Equine-Facilitated Learning for Youths with Severe Emotional Disorders: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study. Ewing, C. A., MacDonald, P. M., Taylor, M., Bowers, M. J. Child & Youth Care Forum, 36(1) 2007 Feb: 59-72.

Does Horseback Riding Therapy or Therapist-Directed Hippotherapy Rehabilitate Children with Cerebral Palsy? Sterba, J. A. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 49(1) 2007 Jan:68-73.

  • Speech Therapy

The Effect of a Therapy Dog on the Communication Skills of an Adult with Aphasia: Case Report. LaFrance, C., Garcia, L. J., Labreche, J. Journal of Communication Disorders, 40(3) 2007 May-Jun:215-24.

Measuring Clinical Outcomes of Animal-Assisted Therapy: Impact on Resident Medication Usage. Lust, E., Ryan-Haddad, A., Coover, K., Snell, J. Consultant Pharmacist, 22(7) 2007 Jul: 580-5.

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