Study reveals pets help people with mental health conditions

Updated 2018-02-14 23:51:05 Xinhua

People who own pets are better able to manage mental health conditions, a study published Wednesday by three British universities revealed.

In what was the first systematic review of existing evidence, researchers at Manchester, Liverpool and Southampton showed how owning a dog or cat, or keeping goldfish, hamsters and finches helps people with long-term mental health problems.

Published in the journal BMC Psychiatry, academics from the three universities reviewed a collection of academic papers on the impact of animal ownership.

The team searched databases and looked for unpublished literature which identified 8,145 articles that were studied by the team of academics.

The studies found that pets helped pet owners to better manage their feelings and provided a powerful distraction from the stress of having mental health problems. The animals were seen as being non-judgmental about their owners and owning them helped alleviate loneliness.

Some pets were also seen as helpful in terms of encouraging physical activity, such as walking the dog, but also allowing them to engage socially with other pet owners.

One hamster owner said merely cleaning its cage and feeding the animal gave her a purpose.

Helen Brooks from the University of Liverpool said: "Pets provided acceptance without judgement, giving unconditional support, which they were often not receiving from other family or social relationships."

Kelly Rushton, from the University of Manchester said: "Pet ownership has a valuable contribution to mental health, so should be incorporated into individual care plans of patients."

"This sort of intervention also offers an opportunity to involve patients in their own mental health service provision through open discussion of what works best for them," Rushton said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58April 23 2019 20:41:57

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16April 23 2019 20:41:57

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18April 23 2019 20:41:57

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords