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Dogs are a man's best friend; in life and health. Explore the magic behind therapy dogs.
Therapy dogs are awesome! You can find them from hospitals to nursing home. Therapy dogs relieve post-operative pain in children ,improving stress levels in healthcare staff and lift depression in dementia patients. Delve into articles that attempt to explain the magic behind the therapy on four paws.
Abstract: This study assessed the attitudes and beliefs surrounding animal-assisted therapy (AAT) for the rehabilitation of children with disabilities at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH), focusing specifically on cerebral palsy (CP), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and acquired brain injury (ABI). This was an initial step to inform future AAT research and to understand the feasibility of interventions.
Pub.: 24 Nov '16, Pinned: 11 Apr '17
Abstract: Interest in animal-assisted therapy has been fuelled by studies supporting the many health benefits. The purpose of this study was to better understand the impact of an animal-assisted therapy program on children response to stress and pain in the immediate post-surgical period.Forty children (3-17 years) were enrolled in the randomised open-label, controlled, pilot study. Patients were randomly assigned to the animal-assisted therapy-group (n = 20, who underwent a 20 min session with an animal-assisted therapy dog, after surgery) or the standard-group (n = 20, standard postoperative care). The study variables were determined in each patient, independently of the assigned group, by a researcher unblinded to the patient's group. The outcomes of the study were to define the neurological, cardiovascular and endocrinological impact of animal-assisted therapy in response to stress and pain. Electroencephalogram activity, heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, cerebral prefrontal oxygenation, salivary cortisol levels and the faces pain scale were considered as outcome measures.After entrance of the dog faster electroencephalogram diffuse beta-activity (> 14 Hz) was reported in all children of the animal-assisted therapy group; in the standard-group no beta-activity was recorded (100% vs 0%, p<0.001). During observation, some differences in the time profile between groups were observed for heart rate (test for interaction p = 0.018), oxygen saturation (test for interaction p = 0.06) and cerebral oxygenation (test for interaction p = 0.09). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were influenced by animal-assisted therapy, though a higher variability in diastolic pressure was observed. Salivary cortisol levels did not show different behaviours over time between groups (p=0.70). Lower pain perception was noted in the animal-assisted group in comparison with the standard-group (p = 0.01).Animal-assisted therapy facilitated rapid recovery in vigilance and activity after anaesthesia, modified pain perception and induced emotional prefrontal responses. An adaptative cardiovascular response was also present.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02284100.
Pub.: 04 Jun '15, Pinned: 11 Apr '17
Abstract: Animal-assisted intervention (AAI) is an approach recently introduced into the hospital environment to improve the quality of hospitalization and provide important benefits for patients with chronic diseases and long-term hospitalizations. This work aims to verify the effects of animal-assisted activity (AAA) on the expression and quality of self-reported pain in hospitalized children and adolescents, while considering the subjects’ subjectivity. The participants were 17 hospitalized children/adolescents of both genders, aged 7 years and older, who complained of pain. Two therapy dogs were selected for the intervention according to the criteria of international protocols. The participants were asked an open question (“How would you describe your pain?”). After the question, an AAA session, which lasted between 5 and 10 min, was held with random activities spontaneously chosen by the subject. The open question was asked again at the end of the session, without the presence of the dog. Positive effects were observed in this population with regard to a decrease in self-reported pain. These results suggest that there is a possible symbolic elaboration of pain by the subject, in which the dog might represent acceptance and affection at a moment of great emotional suffering.
Pub.: 06 Oct '16, Pinned: 11 Apr '17
Abstract: to understand the perception of nursing staff professionals and legal guardians of children and adolescents with cancer regarding Assisted Therapy with dogs.qualitative study based on participant observation conducted with 16 participants in a reference hospital of child cancer. We applied an in-depth interview and interpreted the data according to a content analysis technique.the practice is admittedly beneficial to participants despite the fact they do not understand its true objectives and therapeutic applications. Participants only associate it with something distracting and entertaining without realizing the occurrence of a more complex process behind it, which comprises changes besides the emotional ones (more easily perceived).the perceptions of participants reinforce recommendations that can be applied in the hospital environment, also showing that the therapy in question can become an effective technology to promote the health of children and adolescents with cancer.
Pub.: 08 Dec '16, Pinned: 11 Apr '17
Abstract: This study investigated the optimal time for measuring stress and immune function in 20 healthcare professionals (19 women and 1 man) following interaction with a therapy dog. A nonclinical sample of healthcare professionals was assigned to 20 min. of quiet rest, and 5 and 20 min. with a therapy dog. Serum cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine were collected at baseline, 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 min. postcondition. Salivary cortisol, salivary IgA, and blood for lymphocytes were collected at baseline, 30, 45, and 60 min. postcondition. Analysis indicated significant reductions in serum and salivary cortisol. The optimal time for measuring serum or salivary cortisol following interaction with a therapy dog was 45 min., with changes in salivary cortisol reflecting serum cortisol changes. Findings also suggest stress reduction in healthcare professionals may occur after as little as 5 min. of interaction with a therapy dog and warrants further investigation.
Pub.: 30 Jul '05, Pinned: 11 Apr '17
Abstract: Purpose of the study was to examine if animal-assisted activity with a dog (AAA) in home-dwelling persons with dementia (PWDs) attending day-care centers would have an effect on factors related to risk of fall accidents, with balance (Berg balance scale) and quality of life (Quality of Life in Late-stage Dementia) as main outcome. The project was conducted as a prospective and cluster-randomized multicenter trial with a follow-up. 16 adapted day-care centers recruited respectively 42 (intervention group) and 38 (control group with treatment as usual) home-dwelling PWDs. The intervention consisted of 30 min sessions with AAA led by a qualified dog handler twice a week for 12 weeks in groups of 3–7 participants. The significant positive effect on balance indicates that AAA might work as a multifactorial intervention in dementia care and have useful clinical implication by affecting risk of fall.
Pub.: 04 May '16, Pinned: 11 Apr '17
Abstract: The prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms in cognitively impaired nursing home residents is known to be very high, with depression and agitation being the most common symptoms. The possible effects of a 12‐week intervention with animal‐assisted activities (AAA) in nursing homes were studied. The primary outcomes related to depression, agitation and quality of life (QoL).A prospective, cluster randomized multicentre trial with a follow‐up measurement 3 months after end of intervention was used. Inclusion criteria were men and women aged 65 years or older, with a diagnosis of dementia or having a cognitive deficit. Ten nursing homes were randomized to either AAA with a dog or a control group with treatment as usual. In total, 58 participants were recruited: 28 in the intervention group and 30 in the control group. The intervention consisted of a 30‐min session with AAA twice weekly for 12 weeks in groups of three to six participants, led by a qualified dog handler. Norwegian versions of the Cornell Scale for Depression, the Brief Agitation Rating Scale and the Quality of Life in Late‐stage Dementia scale were used.A significant effect on depression and QoL was found for participants with severe dementia at follow‐up. For QoL, a significant effect of AAA was also found immediately after the intervention. No effects on agitation were found.Animal‐assisted activities may have a positive effect on symptoms of depression and QoL in older people with dementia, especially those in a late stage.
Pub.: 25 Jan '16, Pinned: 11 Apr '17