A systematic review and meta-analysis: The effectiveness of animal-assisted interventions for common mental disease




Poster session 3 Friday: Evidence Tools / Evidence synthesis - creation, publication and updating in the digital age


Friday 15 September 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


All authors in correct order:

Shang W1, Yang K2
1 School of public Health of Lanzhou University, China
2 Evidence-Based Medicine Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, China
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Wenru Shang

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Animal-assisted intervention plays an important role in improvement of mental health and elimination of sense of isolation.

Objectives: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomised-controlled trials to systematically evaluate the efficacy of AAI for mental disorders.

Methods: Relevant articles published were identified in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science and Chinese Biomedical Literature Database. Study characteristics, population characteristics, animal-assisted intervention, measurement instruments of outcome were extracted. The evaluated outcomes included quality of daily life, behavioural and psychological symptoms, and mental condition. The effect sizes were calculated that the change in mean outcome from pre-test to post-test in the intervention group minus that same change in control group. All statistical analyses were performed with STATA version 12.0 software.

Results: 18 studies were identified. According to meta-analysis, we found that AAI have a
significant effect on the quality of daily life with psychiatric disorders (SMD 1.42, 95%
CI 0.05 to 2.78), and on the behavioural and psychological symptoms with depressive disorders (SMD 3.79, 95%CI 1.90, 5.68). We identified a difference between 2 to 3 monthes after AAI for quality of daily life with mental disorders (SMD 0.79. 95%CI 0.28, 1.30).

Conclusions: The present meta-analysis suggests that AAI can improve quality of daily life
with psychiatric disorders, and behavioural and psychological symptoms with depressive