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Companion Animals and Human Health: On the Need for a Comprehensive Research Agenda Toward Clinical Implementation

  • Karine Silva
  • Mariely Lima
Chapter

Abstract

The potential association between companion animal guardianship and human health has become a hot topic not only among researchers but also the media and the general public. Has research reached such a point to elevate these animals to the status of “clinical allies”? This chapter aims at providing an objective assessment of the literature allowing the reader to appreciate the distance between current understanding of the effects of companion animals on human health and its application in health promotion and healthcare. It is divided into two main sections. In the first section, evidence suggesting that companion animals may have a positive impact on human health is presented, followed by opposite findings. In the second section, attention is called upon the need for a comprehensive research approach (integrating confounding, mediating, and moderating variables) before we may attribute a “clinical role” to our companion animals.

Keywords

Companion animals Health promotion Confounders Mediators Moderators 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karine Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mariely Lima
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel SalazarUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Center for Health Technology and Services Research – CINTESIS, University of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Higher School of Education of Paula FrassinettiPortoPortugal
  4. 4.The School of Health, University of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  5. 5.Center for Health Technology and Services Research – CINTESIS, University of PortoPortoPortugal

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