Everybody knows that therapy animals help improve the well-being of hospital patients. But when Professor Anna Chur-Hansen and her team at the University of Adelaide in Australia started rooting around in the research, it turned out there wasn't much data to back up that truism.
“If you speak with most people, they'll say it's a good thing for animals such as dogs and cats to be taken into hospitals, so that patients can derive some form of therapeutic effect from their association with the animals,” Chur-Hansen, the lead author of research published recently in the journal Anthrozoös, said in a news release.
It's not that letting patients cuddle with Fluffy or Bowser is bad. There just doesn't seem to be much hard evidence on the benefits of therapy animals.