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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040640

A One Health Research Framework for Animal-Assisted Interventions

1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 4002 Basel, Switzerland
2
Department of Psychology, University of Basel, 4055 Basel, Switzerland
3
Institute for interdisciplinary research on human-animal relationship (IEMT) Switzerland c/o Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 4002 Basel, Switzerland
4
University of Basel, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Psycho-Social Impact of Human-Animal Interactions)
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Abstract

Background: The integration of animals into healthcare, referred to as animal-assisted intervention, is a rapidly growing research field and was previously related to One Health. However, the assessment of synergistic effects of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) has been poorly addressed to date. Method: We discuss experiences in integrated human and animal assessments in AAI and provide a methodical framework for One Health approaches in AAI research. We propose theoretical consideration of an integrated human and animal health assessment, as well as the use of such an integrated approach in research. Based on the existing research, we argue that, for a deeper understanding of AAI mechanisms, parallel research designs are needed. Results and Conclusion: Our paper shows that a One Health study design is necessary to ensure that a tradeoff in health of animals is prevented and that an added value, or synergistic benefit, can be achieved on both sides during animal-assisted interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; animal-assisted therapy; animal welfare; human-animal relationship; One Health animal-assisted interventions; animal-assisted therapy; animal welfare; human-animal relationship; One Health
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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Hediger, K.; Meisser, A.; Zinsstag, J. A One Health Research Framework for Animal-Assisted Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 640.

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