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Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2012 Dec;27(8):625-32. doi: 10.1177/1533317512464117. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Effects of animal-assisted therapy on behavioral and/or psychological symptoms in dementia: a case report.

Author information

1
School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden. lena.nordgren@mdh.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recently, interest in nonpharmaceutical interventions in dementia care has increased. Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to be one promising intervention but more knowledge is needed. The present article reports on a pilot study involving an 84-year-old woman with vascular dementia who was systematically trained with a therapy dog team for 8 weeks.

METHODS:

A quasi-experimental longitudinal interventional design with pre-post measures was used. Data were collected on 3 occasions. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis.

RESULTS:

Some effects on the woman's ability to walk and move were identified. In addition, some effects in the woman's cognitive state were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Physical, psychological, and/or social training with certified therapy dog teams can have effects on behavioral and psychological symptoms in people living with dementia. Further research is needed.

PMID:
23100630
DOI:
10.1177/1533317512464117
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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