Animal-assisted Therapy in Patients with Psychomotor Disorders and Mental Disabilities.



Mental disabilities are associated with communication and socialization difficulties, as well as psychomotor disorders which increase the risk of falls and complicate basic daily activities. Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a complementary therapeutic technique in which the animal adopts the role of motivator and facilitator. The objectives of this study were to assess the effectiveness of an AAT program in patients with mental disabilities and psychomotor disorders and measure improvements in gait, balance and activity as well as the degree of satisfaction with physiotherapy sessions. This study was a randomized clinical trial, with all subjects obtained through the Occupational Therapy Department of the ASPROS Foundation. We observed improvement in both the intervention and control groups, although this improvement was greater (a statistically significant difference) in the intervention group with regard to balance and satisfaction. Therefore it is a resource that has shown its usefulness and novelty as a community intervention performed by professionals in a Primary Care Center.