Animal Assisted Therapy

Hi I’m Chloe. I work at SPINEgroup as a Certified Therapy Dog.  On selected days and times I will be visiting the clinic  to assist our rehab therapists with many of our clinical programs. I also love to visit with residents in long-term care homes. I am certified through the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) as a Canine Good Neighbour and I have been awarded Certification as a Therapy Dog by Therapeutic Paws of Canada.

 Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

1. Dawn A. Marcus, MD, Cheryl D. Bernstein, MD, Janet M. Constantin, RN  Frank A. Kunkel, MD, Paula Breuer, BS, and Raymond B. Hanlon, MS (2013). Impact of  Animal-Assisted Therapy for Outpatients with Fibromyalgia. Pain Med. Jan 2013; 14(1), 43–51.

Article or Abstract Found:

Key Finding(s): “Brief therapy dog visits may provide a valuable complementary therapy for fibromyalgia outpatients. Significant improvements were reported for pain, mood, and other measures of distress among patients after the therapy dog visit but not the waiting room control. Clinically meaningful pain relief (=2 points pain  severity reduction) occurred in 34% after the therapy dog visit and 4% in the waiting room control. Outcome was not affected by the presence of comorbid anxiety or depression.”

2. Amanda Bulette Coakley, RN, PhD and Ellen K. Mahoney, RN, DNS. (2009). Creating a Therapeutic and Healing Environment with a Pet Therapy program. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 141-146.

Article or Abstract Found:

Key Finding(s): “Pet therapy is a low-tech, low-cost therapy that improved mood and was meaningful to hospitalized patients. Compared with baseline, patients had significant decreases in pain, respiratory rate and negative mood state and a  significant increase in perceived energy level. Quantitative and qualitative findings provide support for decreased tension/anxiety and fatigue/inertia and improved overall mood.”

3. Michele L. Morrison, MS, RN, ANP, HNP, CHHC (2007). Health Benefits of Animal- Assisted Interventions. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine January 2007, vol. 12, no. 1, 51-62.

Article or Abstract Found:

Key Finding(s): “The use of animals in the promotion or improvement of health is long-standing, yet this complementary healing modality is not widely integrated into mainstream health care. Assisted interventions (AAIs) result in statistically significant health benefits with improvements in blood pressure, heart rate, and salivary immunoglobulin A levels and in depression, anxiety, perceived quality of health, and loneliness.”

4. Nancy E. Richeson, PhD, CTRS (2003). Effects of animal-assisted therapy on agitated behaviors and social interactions of older adults with dementia. AM J ALZHEIMERS DIS OTHER DEMEN November/December 2003, vol. 18 no.6, 353-358.

Article or Abstract Found:

Key Finding(s): “The effects of a therapeutic recreation intervention using animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on the agitated behaviors and social interactions of older adults with dementia were examined using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and the Animal-Assisted Therapy Flow Sheet. In a pilot study, 15 nursing home residents with dementia participated in a daily AAT intervention for three weeks. Results showed statistically significant decreases in agitated behaviors and a statistically significant increase in social interaction pretest to post-test.”