Analyzing Intervention Research Trends in Animal-Assisted Therapy: A Review on the Korean Experimental Researches from 1998 to 2022

Taeyoung kil *
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1Department of Social Welfare, Faculty of Health and Welfare, Joongbu University, Geumsan-gun 32713, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Taeyoung kil, Phone: +82428215773. E-mail:

© Copyright 2023 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aims to present a more systematic and developmental research direction by classifying animal-medication-related research trends published in Korea. We analyzed the research trends of 68 domestic animal-medication programs published in 26 journals over the past 24 years under the premise of the necessity of animal-medication therapy, which is considered a very effective intervention method in the practice areas of various subjects. Therefore, this study examines the year of publication of animal-medication-related research conducted in various academic fields from 1998 to 2022, research data sources, characteristics of research subjects, types of interventions and research topics, research design and intervention sessions, intervention methods, and ethical consideration statements. The results of this study are as follows: First, in the source of research and research trends by year, the number of papers published in animal-related societies was the highest at 34 (50%); the number of studies has been steadily increasing since the mid-2000s. Second, regarding research trends by subject, 45 (66%) were general subjects, 23 (34%) were medically diagnosed, 60 (88%) were selected through pre-evaluation, and 8 (12%) were requested. Third, regarding research trends by method, 27 (40%) of the pretests were conducted before and after the experiment-control group, and only 3 (4%) of the 68 papers were examined later. Fourth, regarding research trends by content, depression (25%) was the most frequently applied variable, and regarding intervention sessions, 53 (78%) were less than 12 sessions. Fifth, regarding research trends and ethical consideration statements by treatment approach method, 58 cases (85%) of individual treatment approaches and 10 cases (15%) of intervention approaches integrated with individual treatment approaches, and 23 cases (34%) of studies with ethical consideration statements or the Institutional Review Board’s (IRB) approval. Based on the study results, the implications and research directions of animal-assisted therapy-related research are discussed.

Keywords: Animal-assisted therapy; Research trends; Literature review; Korea