Eficácia da terapia assistida por animais na depressão e ansiedade na demência
: revisão sistemática pico

Translated title of the thesis: Effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy for depression and anxiety in dementia: pico systematic review
  • Catarina Santiago Botas Castanho (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Depression and anxiety affect a considerable percentage of individuals with dementia over the course of the disease. Pharmacological intervention in the geriatric population to treat these symptoms has been highly correlated with health complications, therefore, non-pharmacological interventions have been increasingly recommended as a first-line approach for neurodegenerative clinical conditions. Animal-Assisted Therapy is a non-medication therapeutic model that invests in human-animal interaction as a way of increasing the well-being of these patients through, among other objectives, the reduction or prevention of depression and anxiety. The aim of this systematic literature review is to methodically examine the effectiveness of Animal Assisted Therapy in dementia patients suffering from depressive and/or anxious symptoms. Using the electronic databases PubMed, Psycarticles, Scopus and Web of science, a thorough search was carried out for works published until September 2022, using descriptors referring to the key terms Dementia, Animal-Assisted Therapy and Depression/Anxiety. The comparator, Treatment As Usual or another therapy, was considered in the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Five randomized clinical studies, integrating a total of 508 participants institutionalized in geriatric care centers, were included, summarized and qualitatively analyzed. Compared to the control group, the TAA group often showed a significant reduction in depression. However, no studies were found that evaluated the effectiveness of AAT in anxiety, as it still appears camouflaged in multidimensional measurement instruments. The confidence attributed to the results in depression must take into account the limitations and risk of bias of each study.
Date of Award14 Dec 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMaria Vânia Silva Nunes (Supervisor) & Manuel Luís Capelas (Co-Supervisor)


  • Animal assisted therapy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Efficiency
  • Insanity


  • Mestrado em Neuropsicologia

Cite this