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Effects of a Trained Therapy Dog in Child-Centered Play Therapy on Children's Biobehavioral Measures of Anxiety

Description: This study was concerned with reducing children's anticipatory anxiety when entering mental health services for the first time. The purpose of this study was to determine whether combining two effective modalities, play therapy and animal-assisted therapy, would be effective in decreasing children's biobehavioral measurements of anxiety. Specifically, this study examined the effects of the presence of a trained therapy dog during one individual 30-minute play therapy session. The experimental group consisted of 26 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session with the presence of a trained therapy dog. The comparison group consisted of 25 children who received one individual 30-minute play therapy session without the presence of a trained therapy dog. The SenseWear® PRO 2 armband monitor measured children's biobehavioral measurements such as galvanic skin response, temperature, and activity level (BodyMedia, Inc., Pittsburgh , PA , www.bodymedia.com). The Tanita 6102 Cardio® digital heart rate monitor measured children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rates (Tanita Corporation of America, Inc., Arlington Heights , IL , www.tanita.com). Five hypotheses were tested using repeated measures ANOVA with mixed factors and eta squared. All five hypotheses in this study were retained based on statistical significance at the .05 level. The combination of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in decreasing children's first 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, middle 5-minute biobehavioral measurements, last 5-minute biobehavioral measurements as measured by the SenseWear Pro 2 armband monitor. The combination of CCPT and animal-assisted therapy was shown to have little practical significance in decreasing children's pre-treatment and post-treatment heart rate. The results of the two factor repeated measures analysis of variance with mixed factors were not statistically significant. Although, research has shown that play therapy is an effective modality in reducing children's anxiety over time, children's anticipatory anxiety was increased in the ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Athy, Annette L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploratory Study of Animal Assisted Therapy Interventions Used by Mental Health Professionals

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the various animal assisted interventions mental health professionals incorporate in the therapeutic treatment process, as well as the various therapeutic purposes intended with each technique. Participants were recruited from animal assisted therapy related databases. Participants included professionals who practiced in the mental health field. Thirty one participants qualified for the study. A survey was developed based on information found reviewing literature related to animal assisted therapy. Nineteen animal assisted therapy techniques and ten therapeutic intentions were identified from a review of the literature. Participants were asked to rate on a Likert scale how often they incorporated each technique in their treatment process. Additionally, participants were asked to identify which therapeutic purposes they intended with each technique. Results indicated participants incorporated a variety of animal assisted techniques for various therapeutic intentions. Results indicated seven animal assisted techniques were incorporated by more than 50% of the participants. Building rapport in the therapeutic relationship was the most common therapeutic intention reported with a variety of animal assisted techniques.
Date: May 2008
Creator: O'Callaghan, Dana M.
Partner: UNT Libraries