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Animals 2017, 7(4), 31; doi:10.3390/ani7040031

Green Care: A Review of the Benefits and Potential of Animal-Assisted Care Farming Globally and in Rural America

Psychology Department, Mail Stop 3F5, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Karen Thodberg
Received: 31 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Therapy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [211 KB, uploaded 13 April 2017]

Abstract

The term Green Care includes therapeutic, social or educational interventions involving farming; farm animals; gardening or general contact with nature. Although Green Care can occur in any setting in which there is interaction with plants or animals, this review focuses on therapeutic practices occurring on farms. The efficacy of care farming is discussed and the broad utilization of care farming and farm care communities in Europe is reviewed. Though evidence from care farms in the United States is included in this review, the empirical evidence which could determine its efficacy is lacking. For example, the empirical evidence supporting or refuting the efficacy of therapeutic horseback riding in adults is minimal, while there is little non-equine care farming literature with children. The health care systems in Europe are also much different than those in the United States. In order for insurance companies to cover Green Care techniques in the United States, extensive research is necessary. This paper proposes community-based ways that Green Care methods can be utilized without insurance in the United States. Though Green Care can certainly be provided in urban areas, this paper focuses on ways rural areas can utilize existing farms to benefit the mental and physical health of their communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: green care; care farming; therapeutic horticulture; therapeutic communities; community care; rural America green care; care farming; therapeutic horticulture; therapeutic communities; community care; rural America
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Artz, B.; Bitler Davis, D. Green Care: A Review of the Benefits and Potential of Animal-Assisted Care Farming Globally and in Rural America. Animals 2017, 7, 31.

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