Advanced practice nurses are met with the ongoing challenge of using interventions and practices that are evidence based in the care of their patients. Such practices include traditional as well as complementary and alternative therapies. Animal-assisted therapy is an alternative therapeutic modality that can be used to promote quality of life and positive health benefits. This article reviews the theoretical and scientific basis for the use of animal-assisted therapy in patient care. A pilot study in which the effect of fish aquarium animal-assisted therapy on patients’ stress levels was examined is summarized.

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