Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Swimming with dolphins can alleviate depression

25.11.2005


Randomised controlled study of animal facilitated therapy with dolphins in the treatment of depression BMJ Volume 331, pp 1231-4



Swimming with dolphins is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression, say researchers in this week’s BMJ.

Their findings support the theory of biophilia, which shows how human health and wellbeing are dependent on our relationships with the natural environment.


The study was carried out in Honduras and involved 30 patients diagnosed with mild or moderate depression. Half were assigned to the experimental group and half to the control group.

Over a two-week period, participants in the experimental group swam and snorkelled in the water with dolphins for one hour a day. Participants in the control group were assigned to the same water activities, but in the absence of dolphins, to control for the influence of water and the natural setting.

All participants discontinued antidepressant drugs or psychotherapy at least four weeks before entering the study, and were not allowed to take drugs during the study. Depression scores were measured before the study and at the end of treatment.

Although some participants dropped out of the study, the average severity of the depressive symptoms was more reduced in the experimental group than in the control group.

Animal facilitated therapy with dolphins is more effective than water therapy in treating people with mild to moderate depression, say the authors. Despite some study limitations, the effects exerted by the animals were significantly greater than those of just the natural setting.

The echolocation system, the aesthetic value, and the emotions raised by the interaction with dolphins may explain the mammals’ healing properties, they suggest.

Three months after the study, participants in both groups also reported lasting improvement and did not require treatment. This suggests that in patients with mild or moderate depression, using drugs or conventional psychotherapy may not be necessary when biophilic treatment with animals is used, they conclude.

Emma Dickinson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bmj.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>