Presentation on theme: "Animal Assisted Therapy: Introducing Tullulah Martina Quinn, MSW Oncology Research Seminar January 19, 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Animal Assisted Therapy: Introducing Tullulah Martina Quinn, MSW Oncology Research Seminar January 19, 2009
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) What is it? A goal directed intervention in which an animal is an integral part of the treatment process Has both therapeutic and preventative goals A clinical approach that aims to foster beneficial links between humans and animals
Rationale for AAT Animals naturally stimulate an attraction and attachment response This affects individuals’ well-being (Brodie & Biley, 1999)
History of AAT Has been recognized as beneficial to patients since 1800s Integration of animals within care environment advocated by founders of Nursing Florence Nightingale However, integration into hospitals and other health care settings has been slow
History of AAT (cont’d) Since the 1960s, there has been a proliferation of programs in hospitals, long-term care facilities, Hospice programs, rehabilitation facilities, schools, and community care.
History of AAT (cont’d) Clinicians have observed the role of the human/animal bond in promoting health for animals and humans In the 1980s, efforts grew to document the efficacy of this intervention
Benefits of AAT Animals offer companionship, unconditional regard, tolerance, and sensory stimulation (Martin, 1993) Relaxation, decreased anxiety and depression, lowering of blood pressure, and improved quality of life for cancer patients (Chinner & Dalziel, 1991; Friedman, 1983; Mushel, 1984)
Research Specific to Oncology France Bouchard, et al. wanted to show the value of AAT in pediatric oncology (Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, January 14, 2004)
Her Objectives were to: Stimulate children’s interaction & communication Promote sense of responsibility and usefulness amongst the children Reduce their stress and anxiety Reduce their loneliness, boredom and isolation Increase psychological and physical well-being Increase treatment receptivity and compliance
The Study The project ran 1 year Dogs spent time at bedside 8 hour sessions Up to 3 times per week A parent was also present The parents, children and staff regularly filled out questionnaires during this time
Parental Reports Gave children confidence Friendship developed with child Child was much happier Dog gave affection, attention, comfort, warmth and encouragement
Staff Reports Promoted child’s adaptation to and recovery from chemotherapy and surgery When dog present, they found greater job satisfaction thus able to give better care as a result Looked forward to working due to the decreased resistance of child
Adult Study Rebecca A. Johnson, Phd, RN, FAAN et al. looked at AAT’s effect on mood, fatigue, self-perceived health, and sense of coherence among cancer patients (Oncology Nursing Forum 35(2) 2008)
The Study Participants were those undergoing radiation therapy 3 groups of randomly assigned Experimental group 15 minute sessions 3 times per week for 4 weeks visiting dog and handler Human Visit Group As above, but visiting with a person instead of dog Silent Reading Group As above, magazines were issued to group
The treatments were administered just prior to radiation therapy They following were assessed at 2 points: Mood sense of coherence The ability for a person to successfully endure stressful life events such as illness) self-perceived health
Outcomes Overall, the Experimental Group Scored higher on sense of coherence Rated their health and emotion well- being higher Viewed their health as improved over the 4 week period
These investigations provide support for the benefits of the human-animal bond Today, animals (especially dogs) have been used as a means of therapy to assist people in coping with illness and disability.
Animal Selection PALS (Pet Access League Society) Non-profit, registered, charitable organization Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of individuals in need who can benefit from the known value of the human-animal bond Visitation programs: seniors care facilities, schools, hospitals, and Hospice Calgary
Eligibility Interview and screening process Obedience Temperament Behavioural characteristics The animal needs to be interested in people more than their environment. The animal must complete a certain number of visits per month to maintain membership.
Clearances & Insurance Police and Child Welfare clearance PALS carries liability policy to cover the animal and owner Personal liability insurance can be used as an adjunct but is not mandatory
Vaccination As part of the agreement with hospitals and health facilities, yearly proof of rabies and updated immunizations must be provided. Both an annual health certification and assessment must be completed and signed off by a participating veterinarian. Animals must be bathed on a regular basis as well a screened for enteric pathogens, and treated for internal and external parasites on a monthly basis to minimize zoonotic incidents. All animals are rescreened by Pals after 5 years. If the animal develops a chronic medical condition then it needs to withdraw from the program unless a veterinarian permits its participation.