According to a new study, having a pet helps women suffering with HIV/AIDS to cope with their health condition. A pet may even help patients with other chronic diseases, according to the study.
The Case Western Reserve University researchers said being stigmatized had a negative impact because it prevented women from disclosing their illness and seeking out appropriate supports.
“Pets — primarily dogs — gave these women a sense of support and pleasure,” study author and nursing instructor Allison Webel said in a university news release.
The human and animal bond in healing and therapy has been receiving increasing recognition and more animals are making visits to nursing homes for connecting to people with dementia, or visiting children going through long hospital stays, as per Webel.
The study appears online in the January-February issue of Women’s Health Issues.