Dolphin Therapy Chi-Square Simulation


Can swimming with dolphins be therapeutic for patients suffering from clinical depression?

Researchers recruited 30 subjects aged 18-65 with a clinical diagnosis of mild to moderate depression. Subjects were required to discontinue use of any antidepressant drugs or psychotherapy for four weeks prior to the experiment, and throughout the experiment. These 30 subjects went to an island off the coast of Honduras, where they were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups. Both groups engaged in the same amount of swimming and snorkeling each day, but one group did so in the presence of bottlenose dolphins and the other group did not. At the end of two weeks, each subjects’ level of depression was evaluated, as it had been at the beginning of the study, and it was determined whether they showed “substantial improvement” (reducing their level of depression) by the end of the study. –Rossman (2008), page 9.