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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


PEDROSA, S. et al. Dog-assisted therapy in the treatment of people with chronic pain: a systematic review. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2017, vol.24, n.1, pp.11-18. ISSN 1134-8046.

Objective: Animal-assisted therapy is used in various ways to improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain. The aim of this work was to conduct a systematic review of the literature, and summarize what is known about this form of complementary therapy. Methods: A search was conducted in the following databases MEDLINE (via PubMed), CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Science Core Collection, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, since its inception until January 2016. Results: A total of 179 items were found, and 135 were reviewed for potential inclusion in this study. Finally, we have included 7 articles. The results of the studies reported in these articles show that, in general, people who have participated in animal-assisted therapy report lower pain intensity, improved mood and overall better quality of life. Published reports do not provide detailed information about the type of intervention being used, nor its specific components, thus offering little possibility of replication. Conclusions: Reviewed studies show positive results, however these are based on poor designs. Future research with greater rigor and control is warranted. Future publications need to provide better descriptions of the interventions that are used, this is critical to identify which variables are ultimately responsible for the beneficial effects that are being reported.

Palabras clave : Animal-assisted therapy; complementary therapies; chronic pain; systematic review.

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