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J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2012 Sep-Oct;29(5):272-82. doi: 10.1177/1043454212455697.

Distress among hospitalized pediatric cancer patients modified by pet-therapy intervention to improve quality of life.

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Yale University, Norwich, CT, USA.


This state of the science, integrative literature review focuses on animal-facilitated therapy (AFT) and the benefits provided to quality of life in hospitalized pediatric oncology patients. Results showed physiological and psychological benefits in pediatric inpatients settings. AFT has been shown to decrease pain, change vital signs, provide distraction, decrease fear, increase socialization, increase pleasure and decrease emotional distress in hospitalized pediatric patients. AFT needs to be implemented with appropriate medical discretion, but for the appropriate high-risk patients, AFT can improve quality of life. Pain, adjustment difficulties, mood changes and symptom management can be improved in inpatient pediatric cancer patients receiving AFT, thus improving overall quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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