, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 560–562 | Cite as

Applying One Health to the Study of Animal-Assisted Interventions

  • Darlene Chalmers
  • Colleen Anne Dell


The use of animal-assisted interventions in therapeutic programs is a growing phenomenon. Animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) involve a variety of species (dogs, cats, horses, domesticated birds, etc.) in primary health care. Despite their increasing application in a wide range of therapeutic services, the empirical evidence base of AAIs is limited. The authors of this paper propose that the public health framework of One Health can be adapted to advance AAI research. One Health’s perspective on the environment is primarily ecological. The environmental impact on the human–animal interactions within AAIs, however, incorporates social, cultural, political, and economic factors. The environment has received minimal attention in AAI research. The authors discuss how this framework has been used in their prior AAI research and work with Indigenous people. Applying this framework to AAIs may guide future AAI research.


One Health animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) zooeyia human–animal bond social environment indigenous worldviews research framework and AAIs 



We would like to acknowledge Marcia Darling for her insightful feedback on this paper. We are also grateful for our research funder, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addictions, Project Number 316447.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of ReginaSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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