The effectiveness of group combined intervention using animal-assisted therapy and integrated elderly play therapy

  • Kil, Taeyoung (Institute of Agricultural Science, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Hak-man (Department of Social Welfair, Woosong University) ;
  • Kim, Minkyu (Division of Animal and Dairy Science, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2019.11.02
  • Accepted : 2019.11.08
  • Published : 2019.11.30


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of group combined intervention that combined animal-assisted therapy and integrated elderly play therapy on the depression, self-esteem, and emotional expression of geriatric patients residing in nursing homes. This was achieved by providing cognitive, physical, and emotional activities and social interaction at the same time. The group combined intervention method was applied to twelve elderly patients (six in the control group, six in the experimental group) aged 65 or older who live in a nursing home for the elderly in C province, from May 3, 2019 to June 21, 2019, for a total of 8 times (once a week, 50 minutes at a time). The quantitative evaluation was analyzed through SPSS 21.0 for comparison before and after the program was implemented, using the Korean version of the depression and the self-esteem scale. The qualitative evaluation compared emotional expression pre-test and post-test. The major results of the study were as follows: First, the group combined intervention was effective in reducing depression levels of the experimental group among the elderly patients. Second, it was effective in improving the self-esteem of the experimental group among the elderly patients. Third, it showed a significant difference in the emotional expression of the experimental group among the elderly patients. Therefore, it was found that group combined intervention reduces depression and improves self-esteem and emotional expression of the elderly. Based on these results, it is hoped that this study will be a cornerstone in the development of concrete programs for the benefit of elderly patients living in facilities.


Supported by : Chungnam National University


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