Human and animal health: strengthening the link: Authors' reply to methodological concerns

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7529.1407-a (Published 08 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1407
  1. Christian Antonioli, PhD candidate in psychiatry,
  2. Michael Reveley, professor of psychiatry (rev@le.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Health Sciences, Division of Clinical Psychiatry, University of Leicester Medical School, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester LE5 4PW

    Editor—Depression is an important health problem worldwide. The lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders is 15%, and the cost in morbidity and economics is substantial. Despite limitations of current treatments, and the extent of the problem, there has heretofore been no serious attempt to validate an alternative treatment with anecdotal evidence of efficacy in some mental disorders and disabilities.

    The aim of our study was to begin to establish an evidence base for animal assisted therapy in depression. We used the gold standard of the randomised controlled trial. It was necessarily single blind, as is the case in most, if not all, trials of a psychotherapy in which fully informed consent is obtained. To our knowledge, it is the …

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