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Pet therapy has been found to decrease anxiety and stress levels. Pets are becoming an increasingly more significant part of peoples’ lives and families in the American culture. Nurses need to be aware of the benefits that can come from holistic interventions such as pet therapy in various practice settings. An exploratory experimental research study was conducted to explore the effects of pet therapy on undergraduate nursing students’ (n=7) perceived stress and exam performance. Nursing student exposed to pet therapy reported lower levels of perceived stress compared to nursing student who did not experience pet therapy. Exposure to pet therapy did not impact exam performance. The study demonstrates the significance pet therapy can have on perceived stress. Nurses caring for patients in both acute and long term care should consider advocating for the use of pet therapy to help decrease stress and anxiety their patients experience while in the inpatient and outpatient settings of care. Future research needs to be conducted, specifically with nursing students, to expand the understanding of the benefits pet therapy has to offer.
Bajorek, Kathleen, "The Effects of Pet Therapy on Undergraduate Nursing Students' Perceived Stress and Exam Performance" (2014). Honors Theses. 2400.
Honors Thesis-Open Access