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Aaien als therapie (AAT)

De meerwaarde van dieren in het verpleeghuis

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Tijdschrift voor VerpleeghuisGeneeskunde


Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) wordt steeds meer toegepast binnen de zorg en past binnen de visie van ‘kleinschalig wonen’. In deze literatuurstudie is via PubMed het beschikbare bewijs voor AAT in het verpleeghuis in kaart gebracht. De resulterende acht onderzoeken laten een positief effect van AAT zien op de uitkomstmaten sociale interactie, eenzaamheid, stemming en kwaliteit van leven bij verpleeghuisbewoners in het algemeen en op sociale interactie, probleemgedrag en voedselinname specifiek bij dementerenden. AAT is, bij inachtneming van hygiënische en veiligheidsmaatregelen, een waardevolle aanvulling op andere complementaire therapieën en kan bijdragen aan het verbeteren van welzijn voor verpleeghuisbewoners in het algemeen en dementiepatiënten in het bijzonder.


Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has gained popularity as an intervention in nursing homes, especially as part of the philosophy to enliven living communities for the elder. This review used PubMed to evaluate the available empirical evidence of AAT in nursing homes. Eight studies were found that show a positive effect of AAT on social interaction, loneliness, mood and quality of life in cognitively unimpaired nursing home residents and positive effects on social interaction, problem behavior and nutritional intake in demented residents. Provided that hygienic and safety guidelines are followed, AAT is a valuable addition to the field of complementary therapies and a means to enhance wellbeing of both nursing home residents in general as cognitively impaired residents specifically.

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Correspondence to Lonneke Schuurmans.

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drs. Lonneke Schuurmans, AIOS verpleeghuisgeneeskunde

drs. Paul Calis, psycholoog

dr. Sytse Zuidema, verpleeghuisarts-onderzoeker

Vivent Mariaoord, Rosmalen, afdeling Eerstelijnsgeneeskunde, Centrum voor Huisartsgeneeskunde, Ouderengeneeskunde en Public Health, UMC St. Radboud

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Schuurmans, L., Calis, P. & Zuidema, S. Aaien als therapie (AAT). TVVG 34, 44–48 (2009).

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