Growing literature around the benefits of animal-assisted intervention (AAI) spurs health care professionals and administrators to start new programs. Yet the trend also raises questions of how best to begin and run successful AAI programs—under what circumstances, with what staff, and within what guidelines.

Animal-Assisted Interventions in Health Care Settings: A Best Practices Manual for Establishing New Programs succinctly outlines how best to develop, implement, run, and evaluate AAI programs. Drawing on extensive professional experiences and research from more than fifteen years leading the Center for Human-Animal Interaction in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, the authors discuss both best practices and best reasons for establishing AAI programs. For thorough consideration, the text explores benefits from a variety of perspectives, including how AAI can improve patient experience, provide additional career development for staff, and contribute favorably to organizational culture as well as to the reputation of the facility in the surrounding community.

This supplementary content for Animal-Assisted Interventions in Health Care Settings offers a user-friendly template that can be adapted for individual facilities.

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Submissions from 2019

Animal-Assisted Interventions in Health Care Settings: A Best Practices Manual for Establishing New Programs: Volunteer Manual Template, Sandra B. Barker, Rebecca A. Vokes, and Randolph T. Barker