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Supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing through the integration of companion animals into tutorial programmes at a teaching-led university

Gallard, DC and Taylor, E (2017) Supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing through the integration of companion animals into tutorial programmes at a teaching-led university. Innovations in Practice, 11 (1). ISSN 1757-921X

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Abstract

This paper considers the protocols and processes of a small-scale project involving final year university students and the companion animals (dogs and guinea pigs) of tutors, aimed at improving student wellbeing and fostering relational learning. Narratives and survey data revealed a range of perceived benefits including those relating to the technique of distraction to reduce anxiety and improve student wellbeing. Also identified are possible further benefits including relational learning and improved attendance. The paper reflects on a range of other issues, such as the welfare of the animals, potential risks and objections from staff and students. Recommendations from the pilot project are provided and the potential for further research identified.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: School of Education
Publisher: Liverpool John Moores University
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Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2017 08:42
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 07:16
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6776

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