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Informing Implementation: Perspectives from the Australian University Community Regarding an Animal Assisted Intervention

Version 3 2024-06-19, 16:57
Version 2 2024-06-05, 08:52
Version 1 2023-02-16, 00:46
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-19, 16:57 authored by Emily CookeEmily Cooke, Claire Henderson-WilsonClaire Henderson-Wilson, Elyse WarnerElyse Warner, Tony LaMontagneTony LaMontagne
Animal Assisted Interventions (AAIs) have become increasingly popular in the university setting; however, there is limited research exploring their potential on an Australian university campus and participants’ views prior to implementation. Therefore, this study aimed to explore university staff members’ and students’ interest in participating in an AAI and their perspectives on intervention characteristics. This was a mixed methods study, using an online survey and semi-structured interviews. The survey had 344 responses, and 45 interviews were conducted. A large majority of participants (86%) were interested in participating in an AAI. In the survey, participants indicated their preferred intervention characteristics for the location of the intervention, frequency of participating, and ways of hearing about the intervention. Participants also expressed concerns regarding therapy animal welfare. In interviews, participants discussed various considerations which may impact the intervention (such as the accessibility of the location, the impact of workload on participating, the effectiveness of promotion strategies, and factors that may assist therapy animal welfare, such as the therapy animals’ handlers). Gaining an insight into the university community’s views prior to implementation may ensure the intervention is feasible to implement and can be beneficial to both humans and therapy animals.

History

Journal

Animals

Volume

12

Article number

ARTN 3569

Location

Switzerland

ISSN

2076-2615

eISSN

2076-2615

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

24

Publisher

MDPI