Collaboration in Animal-Assisted Therapy in Rehabilitation Medicine

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  • This paper introduces Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) and describes how a team of students at the University of Alberta brought together the departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, namely Communication Sciences and Disorders, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy, in an event that showcased the use of AAT in the therapy room. The paper goes over the background of AAT and its history, attitudes towards AAT, methodological shortcomings of previous literature, and alternative explanations for previous findings. Following this, the benefits of AAT, a brief overview, AAT and adults, and a snapshot of AAT at Corbett Hall are explored. Next, risks and barriers are covered, specifically important considerations for the use of AAT and populations to avoid. The purpose of the “Dog Day” event at Corbett hall and the event itself are discussed at length, including: preparation and planning, information booths, handlers, establishing goals for the AAT demonstrations, the logistics of scheduling, venue, advertising, and media, and finally the multidisciplinary collaboration on the day of the event. The final section of the paper suggests future steps for AAT at Corbett Hall and for the field of AAT in general.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International