Measuring clinical outcomes of animal-assisted therapy

Impact on resident medication usage

Elaine Lust, Ann Ryan-Haddad, Kelli L. Coover, Jeff Snell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To measure changes in medication usage of as-needed, psychoactive medications and other select as-needed medication usage as a result of a therapy dog residing in the rehabilitation facility. Additional measures are participants' thoughts and feelings on quality-of-life factors. Design: One group, pretest, post-test. Setting: Residential rehabilitation facility. Participants: Convenience sample, N = 58 residents living at the facility. Intervention: A certified, trained therapy dog. Main Outcome Measure(s): Changes in as-needed medication usage for the following categories: analgesics, psychoactive medications, and laxatives, as well as changes in vital sign measurements of blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate, and body weight. Additionally, changes in the residents' perception of quality-of-life factors. Results: One of the three monitored drug classes, analgesia, revealed a decrease in medication usage (mean = 2.6, standard deviation [SD] +/- 6.90, P= 0.017), and one of four monitored vital signs, pulse, showed a decrease (mean = 5.8, SD +/-7.39, P = 0.000) in study participants exposed to the therapy dog. Positive changes were reported in study participants' quality of life. Conclusion: The benefits to human welfare as a result of the presence of a therapy dog have the potential to decrease medication usage for certain conditions in long-term care patients as well as decrease costs. Pharmacist involvement in animal-assisted therapy has the potential to make unique and measurable improvements to best patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-585
Number of pages6
JournalConsultant Pharmacist
Volume22
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007

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Animal Assisted Therapy
Dogs
Vital Signs
Quality of Life
Rehabilitation
Residential Facilities
Laxatives
Long-Term Care
Therapeutics
Respiratory Rate
Pharmacists
Analgesia
Analgesics
Patient Care
Emotions
Heart Rate
Body Weight
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Blood Pressure
Costs and Cost Analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science

Cite this

Measuring clinical outcomes of animal-assisted therapy : Impact on resident medication usage. / Lust, Elaine; Ryan-Haddad, Ann; Coover, Kelli L.; Snell, Jeff.

In: Consultant Pharmacist, Vol. 22, No. 7, 07.2007, p. 580-585.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lust, Elaine ; Ryan-Haddad, Ann ; Coover, Kelli L. ; Snell, Jeff. / Measuring clinical outcomes of animal-assisted therapy : Impact on resident medication usage. In: Consultant Pharmacist. 2007 ; Vol. 22, No. 7. pp. 580-585.
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