Animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) are non-pharmacological, cost-effective interventions developed to improve outcomes in patients with dementia; however, the effects remain inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to analyze the efficacy of AAIs for people with dementia. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed of English-language literature published from January 1, 2001, to July 3,2021, and indexed in the following databases: CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, and PsycINFO. Intervention groups were people with dementia who received AAIs. Study quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute tool. Among 10 included studies, significant differences in depression levels were identified between the intervention and control groups (p < 0.001). No significant differences in cognitive function, neuropsychiatric syndrome, or independence in activities of daily living were observed between groups. Future research remains necessary to examine the effects of AAIs on depression during different stages of dementia. AAIs therapists may collaborate with healthcare workers to improve AAIs benefits.
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.