More Than Just Companions: The Role of Animal Assisted Therapy In Prevention, Health, and Wellness
Leslie Stewart, Heidi McKinley, and Jennifer Gess


This case study addresses the human-animal interaction component of the One Health Framework and will equip students in the health professions with the knowledge necessary to analyze the potential health benefits of animal assisted therapy (AAT) and to understand the interdisciplinary application of AAT interventions to prevent and treat a wide range of healthcare concerns.
In this case study, the director of a fictional integrative healthcare hospital is considering incorporating AAT services because of the potential benefits to healthcare, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric, and mental health patients. The hospital director hires a team of experts in AAT to serve as consultants. Students assume the role of members of the expert consulting team and, using a jigsaw technique, explain and explore the potential advantages, applications, and ethical considerations associated with incorporating AAT into healthcare and human services treatment settings.