Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor's Name

Susan Kaplan

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Betsy Smith

Third Advisor's Name

Pamela Sfaffner

Date of Defense



One hundred seventy-nine occupational therapists (OTs) responded to a survey regarding their interests and attitudes toward animal assisted therapy as a treatment modality. It was found that most of the practitioners would be interested in learning more about animal assisted therapy and most felt it is a valid treatment modality to be used by occupational therapists. Furthermore, the most common answer to the question "why would you not be interested in participating in an AAT program," was "I feel I don't know enough about it". It was also found that therapists' most commonly selected patient goals for AAT were in the realm of mental health, whereas the least mentioned goals were more physically based goals. Further, a recommendation was made to educate OTs regarding the uses and benefits of AAT through more research, continuing education programs on AAT, publications in professional journals, and media awareness.





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