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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2011;32(8):493-500. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2011.566982.

Farm animal-assisted intervention: relationship between work and contact with farm animals and change in depression, anxiety, and self-efficacy among persons with clinical depression.

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Norwegian University of Life Sciences, ├ůs, Norway.


Fourteen adults with clinical depression participated twice a week in a 12-week farm animal-assisted intervention consisting of work and contact with dairy cattle. Each participant was video-recorded twice during the intervention, and the recordings were categorized with respect to various work tasks and animal and human contact. Levels of anxiety and depression decreased and self-efficacy increased during the intervention. Interaction with farm animals via work tasks showed a greater potential for improved mental health than via sole animal contact, but only when progress in working skills was achieved, indicating the role of coping experiences for a successful intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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