Exploring the potential impact of a virtual body meditation exercise conducted with companion dogs on recipients and facilitators

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Psychol. Jul 16, 2021; 12: 698075. doi: 10.3389 / fpsg.2021.698075. Electronic collection 2021.

ABSTRACT

Numerous recent studies have shown that COVID-19 and the mandatory lifestyle changes that accompany it have had significant negative effects on people’s mental health. To meet the increased need for mental health support, while maintaining physical security, various telehealth services have been created or expanded. A mindfulness body scan program is an intervention that can easily be modified to be offered virtually. This study was designed to determine whether a virtual body scan mindfulness exercise, with participants holding their dog or a pillow / blanket, could reduce their stress and anxiety as well as that of the facilitators. Significant differences in pre / post-state anxiety assessment scores for participants and facilitators were found. These results are discussed in the context of the human-animal bond and the potential of this form of intervention as a useful virtual tool for participants and facilitators.

PMID: 34335415 | PMC: PMC8322236 | DOI: 10.3389 / fpsig.2021.698075


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