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animal-assisted activities, animal-assisted interventions, animal-assisted therapy, critical care, human-animal interaction, infection control, zoonosis



  1. Rugari, Susan M. PhD, RN, CNS
  2. Hunter, Cheryl L. MSN, RN
  3. Carswell, B. Michele MSN, RN


Abstract: Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and animal-assisted activities (AAA) are different dimensions in the field of human-animal interaction that incorporate various species of animals in diverse manners to benefit humans. Research shows physiologic and psychological benefits of AAT/AAA but is limited in the area of critical care. Current guidelines discourage the use of AAT/AAA in CCUs because of infection control concerns. However, these concerns can be addressed with the right policies.