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Do pets affect depression and anxiety in elderly and terminally ill persons?

15 April 2005


A review of the literature on pets' effects on mental health was undertaken. A critique of the literature investigated the elderly and terminally ill populations' reactions to pet interventions, such as Animal-Assisted Therapy, as it pertained to depression and anxiety. Despite lack of rigor and the need for additional research studies, the consensus is that pet interventions such as Animal-Assisted Therapy are effective in lessening or influencing positive change in levels of depression and anxiety experienced by these populations.


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