Study of the Acceptance and Perceived Efficacy of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) for Parents and Nurses in the Psychiatry Unit of Meyer Childrens Hospital in Florence - ItalyStefanini MC1*, Bigalli E1 and Tani F2
- Corresponding Author:
- Prof. Maria Cristina Stefanini
Neurofarba Department, Meyer Children’s Hospital
University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini, Firenze, 6- 50129, Italy
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: April 25, 2016; Accepted Date: June 23, 2016; Published Date: June 30, 2016
Citation: Stefanini MC, Bigalli E, Tani F (2016) Study of the Acceptance and Perceived Efficacy of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) for Parents and Nurses in the Psychiatry Unit of Meyer Children’s Hospital in Florence - Italy. J Community Med Health Educ 6:448. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000448
Copyright: © 2016 Stefanini MC, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Objectives: This short paper is part of wider research aimed at comparing the effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) with a standard treatment protocol in 20 children and adolescents admitted to psychiatry hospitals for severe mental breakdown (with RCT). After analysing the global results we concluded that the benefits could not only be described in terms of direct effectiveness and care outcomes, but there were also other factors that we should consider, in particular in relation to the context of care. The focus was to analyze those factors, because the results of this treatment were quite distinctive and specific to AAT. The main purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which parents and nurses accept the effects of AAT and perceive its efficacy.
Method: For this purpose, at the end of the AAT treatment, we gave a specially formulated questionnaire to both parents and nurses.
Results: Data analyses showed that nurses evaluate AAT to be very efficient in improving both the adolescent's quality of stay in hospital and also their compliance with the care provided. Parents expressed a strong acceptance of AAT and evaluated this treatment as an efficient way to both improve the way in which their children express emotions and also facilitate their social skills.
Conclusion: The study confirms, in a wider context, the results of our previous studies, not only on the clinical efficacy of AAT, but also on the perceived efficacy for parents and hospital staff and in the general context of care. This underlines the importance to further analyze the factors related to the environment and document the indirect benefits related to a more positive care environment.