Dominican University of California
 

All Conference Presentations, Performances and Exhibits

Positive Health Effects of Animal- Assisted Therapy in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients

Jamie R. Valdivia, Dominican University of California
Samantha Magat, Dominican University of California

Abstract/Description

Hospitalized patients encounter stressors that impact their experience and recovery. Both child and parent must confront an unfamiliar environment sometimes associated with considerable pain, in addition to the feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness and powerlessness that accompany severe illness, and one in which boredom and lack of stimulation increase as the period of hospitalization lengthens. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is defined as the use of trained animals by trained health professionals to facilitate specific, measureable goals for individual patients for whom there is documented progress. AAT is one of the interventions that have been used to alleviate the stress of hospitalization. Interest in AAT has been fuelled by studies supporting the many health benefits such as reducing anxiety and loneliness, increasing self-esteem and improving interaction with others. Investigators found a 33% reduction in anxiety scores after spending 15 minutes with a therapy dog. The purpose is to determine the impact of AAT in reducing pain, stress levels and anxiety as well as improving overall quality of life amongst hospitalized pediatric patients. AAT is individually developed for each participant with a certain therapeutic goal for each meeting. AAT is a beneficial way to bring animals and humans together to meet a person’s physical and/or emotional needs.

 
Apr 15th, 2:30 PM Apr 15th, 3:30 PM

Positive Health Effects of Animal- Assisted Therapy in Hospitalized Pediatric Patients

Guzman Lecture Hall

Hospitalized patients encounter stressors that impact their experience and recovery. Both child and parent must confront an unfamiliar environment sometimes associated with considerable pain, in addition to the feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness and powerlessness that accompany severe illness, and one in which boredom and lack of stimulation increase as the period of hospitalization lengthens. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is defined as the use of trained animals by trained health professionals to facilitate specific, measureable goals for individual patients for whom there is documented progress. AAT is one of the interventions that have been used to alleviate the stress of hospitalization. Interest in AAT has been fuelled by studies supporting the many health benefits such as reducing anxiety and loneliness, increasing self-esteem and improving interaction with others. Investigators found a 33% reduction in anxiety scores after spending 15 minutes with a therapy dog. The purpose is to determine the impact of AAT in reducing pain, stress levels and anxiety as well as improving overall quality of life amongst hospitalized pediatric patients. AAT is individually developed for each participant with a certain therapeutic goal for each meeting. AAT is a beneficial way to bring animals and humans together to meet a person’s physical and/or emotional needs.