Animal-Assisted Intervention for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review
Marguerite E. O'Haire, PhD
The overall research goal was to collect all empirical, published evidence of Animal-Assisted Intervention (AAI) for individuals who have experienced trauma, including those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The first systematic review of research on animal-assisted intervention (AAI) for victims of trauma, this study found preliminary evidence that “animals may provide unique elements to address several PTSD symptoms.” Specifically, “people with PTSD often experience emotional numbing, yet the presence of an animal has been reported to elicit positive emotions and warmth. Animals have also been demonstrated as social facilitators that can connect people and reduce loneliness, which may assist individuals with PTSD break out of isolation and connect to the humans around them.”