Effect of Animal-Assisted Activities on Wellbeing of Hospitalized Patients at a Tertiary Care Center: A Pilot Study

Jessica M Smidt,

Published on: 2021-07-28


The current study was conducted to identify reasons that motivate hospitalized patients or their primary care providers to request AAA and to measure the effects of AAA on common symptoms patients experience. A single pretest-posttest AAA survey conducted in an academic medical center, enrolled 20 adult participants who were hospitalized from December 1, 2016 through November 30, 2017. Participants were asked to fill out a pre-and post-visit visual analog scale (VAS), reasoning behind their request, and satisfaction survey. The care team completed a qualitative survey on AAA interference with patient care. The most common (40%; n=8) reason for AAA was “companionship”. Post-visit, VAS scores for fatigue, anxiety, frustration, and stress improved significantly (P<0.001). The hospital care team was comfortable with AAA and reported they did not interfere with patient care. These results suggest that AAAs can be beneficial for the emotional well-being of hospitalized participants without interfering with care teams.

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