Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not the use of Animal Assisted Therapy/Activity is effective in improving quality of life through self-efficacy, self-perceived health, sense of coherence and mood.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English language randomized control trials, two published in 2008, and one published in 2009.

DATA SOURCES: Three randomized, controlled trials comparing Animal Assisted Therapy/Activity to restricted or absent animal contact or alternative control therapy were found using PubMed Health and Cochrane Systematic Reviews.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: Depression measured via BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), Anxiety measured via BAI (Beck Anxiety Inventory), Quality of Life measured via QOLS-N (Quality of Life Scale-N), Moods measured via POMS (Profile of Mood States), Self-Perceived Health measured via Self-Perceived
Health Questionnaire), Self-Efficacy measured via GSE (Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale), Sense of Coherence measured via OTLQ (Orientation to Life Questionnaire).

RESULTS: In a study by Berget et al, AAT was found to improve self-efficacy within the treatment group in the post treatment period and when comparing 6 months post treatment to before treatment. However, no changes were found when comparing the AAT group to the control group. No statistically significant changes were found directly related to the QOLS-N questionnaire regarding quality of
life. No significant changes were found at all in Johnson et al as all p-values were greater than 0.05. Their investigation included changes in mood, self- perceived health and sense of coherence. LE ROUX et al showed improvement in BDI scores within the AAA group but no statistical difference was found in the comparison between the AAA group and the control groups. No statistically
significant changes were noted in any of the BAI score comparisons. There were no adverse effects of AAT/AAA noted.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of two of the randomized control trials demonstrate AAA/AAT to improve QOL within the treatment groups. None of the studies showed that AAA/AAAT improved QOL in comparison to control groups.