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Psychiatric patients who live in nursing homes may often feel a loss of autonomy, decision-making, and participation in social activities. They usually had little or no visitors and also they do not have any purpose for living. Pets may decrease this problem and improve their happiness.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on happiness of chronic psychiatric patients in nursing home.
The study design was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with pre and post-test. Seventy males with chronic mental health disorder who were patients of the nursing homes were randomly divided into a pet therapy intervention group and control group. Patients in the experimental group received pet-therapy with bird as 6 weeks therapy comprising 6 sessions per week. All patients were evaluated by the Oxford happiness questionnaire before and after 6 weeks.
Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted and pretest was considered as a covariate variable. The result demonstrated that the patients in the experimental group had significantly increased (P < 0.001) happiness in posttest scores.
It is important to consider ways of enhancing happiness in psychiatric patients who live in the nursing homes. Also, it is appearing that AAT can be helpful for them.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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