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Volume 43 Number 3, May/June 2006
Pages 357 — 366


Abstract - Animal-assisted therapy for persons with aphasia: A pilot study

Beth L. Macauley, PhD, CCC-SLP, HPCS

Department of Communicative Disorders, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Abstract — This study explored the effects and effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for persons with aphasia. Three men with aphasia from left-hemisphere strokes participated in this study. The men received one semester of traditional therapy followed by one semester of AAT. While both therapies were effective, in that each participant met his goals, no significant differences existed between test results following traditional speech-language therapy versus AAT. Results of a client-satisfaction questionnaire, however, indicated that each of the participants was more motivated, enjoyed the therapy sessions more, and felt that the atmosphere of the sessions was lighter and less stressed during AAT compared with traditional therapy.
Key words: animal-assisted therapy, aphasia, brain injury, communication, increased motivation, rehabilitation, speech-language pathology, speech-language therapy, stroke, therapy animals, therapy efficacy.

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