Animal-Assisted Interactions to Alleviate Psychological Symptoms in Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation

Breanna Hetland, Tanya Bailey, Maryjo Prince-Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Mechanical ventilation is a common life-support intervention for critically ill patients that can cause stressful psychological symptoms. Animal-assisted interactions have been used in a variety of inpatient settings to reduce symptom burden and promote overall well-being. Because of the severity of illness associated with critical care, use of highly technological equipment, and heightened concern for infection control and patient safety, animal-assisted interaction has not been widely adopted in the intensive care unit. This case study of the therapeutic interaction between a canine and a mechanically ventilated patient provides support for the promotion of animal-assisted interactions as an innovative symptom management strategy in the intensive care unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-523
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • animal-assisted therapy
  • artificial respiration
  • critical care
  • intensive care unit
  • mechanical ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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