Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor

Clinical And Counseling Science

Thesis Advisor

Deborah Meshel, BSN, MSN


Pet therapy is a complementary intervention that involves the interaction between a person and animal, with the focus of improving psychological well-being within diverse populations. In particular, children with oncological disorders have increases in anxiety and stress levels, therefore it is imperative to study the impact of animal interventions within this population. This literature critique explores the impact of pet therapy interventions on anxiety, stress, and quality of life perceptions in pediatric oncology patients. This research proposal will investigate how animal therapy interactions within pediatric oncology patients influence their anxiety levels and perceptions of quality of life and how these factors impact treatment adherence. This quantitative true research experiment will be conducted over 12 weeks with a sample size of 200 participants. The participants will be randomly divided into either the control or experimental group. The control group will attend appointments without the animal interaction, while the experimental group will have pet therapy interactions twice per week over the course of 12 weeks. Anxiety and quality of life perceptions will be measured using the PedsQL and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory tools prior to the study and after the 12 weeks to determine the impact of hospital visits, with or without animal intervention, on quality of life and anxiety levels within pediatric oncology patients. For 1 year after the interventions are conducted, participants scheduled and attended appointments will be evaluated through patient charts to determine how pet therapy interactions impact on quality of life and anxiety lead to increased treatment adherence. The researchers anticipate that animal interventions will improve anxiety and quality of life, leading to increased treatment adherence within this population.