Human-animal interaction and mental health


Following our initial publications of cross-sectional data on the associations between mental health, loneliness and the human-animal bond during the first Covid lockdown, we have since been funded to explore the use of a robotic seal (PARO) on dementia inpatient wards and evaluate the impact of being placed with an assistance dog on the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder and physical disabilities and their families.

We have just commenced our work on an NIHR-funded development programmme, exploring the use of dog-assisted interventions in mental health populations, with a large programme of work planned thereafter. While the interest in human-animal interaction research has been growing exponentially, and practice is flourishing, rigorous research in this field is still scarce, and we are building exciting new national and international collaborations to advance our knowledge and understanding in this area.

Other projects

Mental Health Implementation Network Project 3: high-level alcohol assertive outreach team (AAOT)

A small group of high impact service users with alcohol dependence and comorbid mental health and physical problems disproportionately account for the greatest use of acute hospital admissions and emergency...

Creating an open online course

Following on from a research priority initiative that was to pinpoint the most important questions for people living with mental and physical multimorbidity, we are designing a free online Learning...

NEW Social Prescribing 2: Developing and Testing the Creative Minds Logic Model and Programme Theory

Creative Minds (CM) is an organisation that helps to fund creative activity groups in the community for people who are living with or recovering from a range of mental health...

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