Nav: Home

New study highlights the impact companion animals have on owners

February 09, 2018

A new study, published in BMC Psychiatry, conducted by researchers from the universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton, suggests that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions.

There is increasing recognition of the therapeutic function pets can play in relation to mental health. However, there has been no systematic review of the evidence related to the comprehensive role of companion animals and how pets might contribute to the work associated with managing a long-term mental health condition.

The study, led by Dr Helen Brooks from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, aimed to explore the extent, nature and quality of the evidence implicating the role and utility of pet ownership for people living with a mental health condition.

Positive, negative and neutral impacts

The study team systematically reviewed 17 international research papers, to identify the positive, negative and neutral impacts of pet ownership.

The research highlighted the 'intensiveness' of connectivity people with companion animals reported, and the multi-faceted ways in which pets contributed to the work associated with managing a mental health condition, particularly in times of crisis.

The negative aspects of pet ownership were also highlighted, including the practical and emotional burden of pet ownership and the psychological impact that losing a pet has.

Support

Dr Brooks, said: "Our review suggests that pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions. Further research is required to test the nature and extent of this relationship, incorporating outcomes that cover the range of roles and types of support pets confer in relation to mental health and the means by which these can be incorporated into the mainstay of support for people experiencing a mental health problem."
-end-
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)'s Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme.

The full study, entitled 'The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence', can be found here http://bit.ly/2EMEd8Z

University of Liverpool

Related Mental Health Articles:

Food insecurity can affect your mental health
Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people's health beyond its impact on nutrition.
Climate change's toll on mental health
When people think about climate change, they probably think first about its effects on the environment, and possibly on their physical health.
Quantifying nature's mental health benefits
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Sexism may be harmful to men's mental health
Men who see themselves as playboys or as having power over women are more likely to have psychological problems than men who conform less to traditionally masculine norms, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Mental health matters
UCSB researchers study the effectiveness of an innovative program designed to help youth learn about mental health.
More Mental Health News and Mental Health Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...