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Written by Diana Varvara, Published on May 23, 2016

As the field of human-animal interaction (HAI) continues to gain traction, studies that straddle occupational therapy and HAI can help validate occupational therapists’ involvement in HAI-related work, such as animal-assisted therapy.

However, more importantly, they can elucidate how animals can help us help our clients participate in activities that bring meaning to their lives. Think outside the box to acquire funding and partnerships for such research; the directors of several HAI programs we contacted—including the Consortium for Animal Assisted Therapy at the University of North Texas (discussed in part II of this series) and the Human-Animal Interaction Studies project at Colorado State University —told us that though they weren’t currently doing research with OTs, they’d be open to exploring the possibilities.

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Topics:AATanimal-assisted activitiesanimals in OTCareersResearchresources

Written by Diana Varvara, Published on May 16, 2016

Animals in Occupational Therapy

If you want animals to play a role in your occupational therapy practice, education is essential. The most relevant training is in animal-assisted therapy, or AAT. (For the difference between AAT and animal-assisted activities, or AAA, see part I of this series.) Because such training is rarely OT specific, you’ll need to merge what you learn with your OT knowledge, and, as with your OT degree, supplement it liberally. Some of the resources mentioned in part I of this series offer educational programming along with their various other services. Here, we focus on additional resources that are widely, or virtually, available.

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Topics:AATanimal-assisted activitiesanimals in OTClinicalResearchresources

Written by Diana Varvara, Published on March 30, 2016

Can you combine occupational therapy and animals? Of course!

The bigger question is How? To answer that question, a practitioner needs resources. But in our experience, those resources are scattered and often buried, and if we’re all digging to unearth the same info, that leaves less time to plant seeds. So we’ve collected some resources related to practice, training, and research for occupational therapists who want to work with animals, in the hope that, together, we can nurture and grow this area of OT.

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Topics:AATanimal-assisted activitiesanimalsanimals in occupational therapyanimals in OTCareerscontinuing edResearchresources

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