What is it about?

The purpose of this brief report was to inform clinical practice and decision making in addressing the increased number of individuals requesting and receiving emotional support animal (ESA) waivers. The literature on this topic is sparse, making it difficult to support the evidence-based practice of writing ESA letters. The therapeutic effects and benefits from human–animal interactions warrant further study in the case of ESAs to further support their use. Ultimately, it is up to the individual provider's clinical judgment supported by due diligence on a case-by-case basis should they decide to provide an ESA letter to their patient.

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Why is it important?

It is important for providers, including nurse practitioners to carefully consider the diagnostic and legal implications of endorsing ESAs. Nurse practitioners should be aware of the legal implications of writing ESA letters before providing them to their patients, understanding that a letter may constitute a determination of a disability.

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This page is a summary of: Managing emotional support animal letters in clinical practice, Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, May 2020, Wolters Kluwer Health,
DOI: 10.1097/jxx.0000000000000420.
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