CSPH 5641 - Animals in Health Care: The Healing Dimensions of Human/Animal Relationships

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the core principles of Animal-Assisted Interactions (AAI) in the context of multiple healthcare and social service related settings. Students will learn the history, rationale, theoretical and evidence-based approach to practicing AAI. Students will learn to identify and describe the safety guidelines and national standards of care for inclusion of animals in therapeutic settings. Students will evaluate peer-reviewed literature in AAI research identifying the strengths/weaknesses of published material and synthesizing findings from multiple studies. The course will highlight a variety of community-based AAI Interactions along with in-class demonstrations. 

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Understand the enhanced quality of life and health benefits of human/animal interactions.
  • Identify principles and theoretical framework of animal-assisted interactions. 
  • Recognize the five domains of animal-assisted interactions (physical, social, cognitive, spiritual and psychological domains) and discuss how they are utilized within treatment.
  • Discuss the current evidence-base and clinical applications to support the delivery and intervention of animal-assisted interactions.
  • Identify animal-assisted interactions techniques utilized to treat specific target populations needs and strengths.
  • Apply concepts and practices of animal-assisted interactions to a specific user group/individual.
  • Learn the safety guidelines and national standards of care for inclusion of animals in therapeutic settings.
  • Describe strategies used in providing animal-assisted interactions in community- based and clinical settings.
  • Critique and synthesize research in animal-assisted interactions (e.g. design, outcome measures).
  • Hypothesize future directions for research in animal-assisted interactions. 

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Course Details

Course Format: 
Course ID: 
CSPH 5641
Jr or sr or grad student
Semesters Course Offered: 
Course Flyer: 
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