The Effects Of Animal Based Therapy Practices On Clients Who Have Nonfluent Aphasia Therapy

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This study is designed to examine the effects of animal based therapy within the domain of speech and language intervention. This study specifically examines the effects of animal based therapy practices on clients who have nonfluent aphasia. A pretest posttest control group design will be utilized to determine the overall effectiveness and client satisfaction of animal based therapy in comparison to typically utilized aphasia therapy. Results will be determined by observing the clients performance throughout the session as well as through surveys.

Introduction The effects of animal assisted therapy (AAT) have not been fully explored in relation to speech language pathology. This lack of attention can be noted
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358). AAT is also used to treat specific health issues, such as spinal cord injury, dementia, depression, psychiatric disorders, and schizophrenia (Macauley, 2006). Despite the increased interest in these types of therapy across several medical fields, these specific techniques have seen little usage within the field of speech-language pathology. Overall, in these other fields as well as through its limited use in speech therapy settings, AAT has been deemed as an effective method for patient therapy. Macauley noted that the use of therapy dogs was effective at reducing anxiety in psychiatric patients (Macauley, 2006, p. 363). Similar testing has been done with patients who have aphasia. In these studies patients received a semester of treatment in a traditional setting and then a semester with AAT based speech therapy. After each semester, clients were given a questionnaire to fill out to obtain information about their sessions in specific regards to the patient’s motivation and performance. The questionnaires also assessed communication with the clinician and the clinician’s preparedness. After careful examination of these questionnaires it was found that clients were happier with the results of the session and believed that they made more progress in sessions that used animal therapy. Another study that was completed on this topic focused on the amount of attempts towards communication
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