Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Pets do make a difference for patients in long-term care facilities


Study finds statistical evidence that animal-assisted therapy reduces loneliness in LTC residents

Animal-assisted therapy can effectively reduce the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities, according to a study by Marian R. Banks of the VA Medical Center in St. Louis and William A. Banks of St. Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri.

The doctors noted that although animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is claimed to have a variety of benefits, until now almost all published results have been anecdotal. Their study, reported in the July 2002 issue of Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, found that even one AAT session of 30 minutes per week was effective in reducing loneliness to a statistically significant degree.

The study showed that AAT can effectively reduce the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities who wish to receive such therapy. "The study also found that a large number of residents in these facilities have strong life-history of relationships with pets as an intimate part of their support system and, if given a choice, would continue that relationship," the doctors added.

The demographics were typical of long-term care residents: women, widowed, and older than 75 years of age. Of the 45 study participants, only two did not have pets during their childhood. The non-participating residents in the long-term care facility also had had pets during childhood.

One of the more interesting findings in the study was the spontaneous recollection of childhood pets by the residents. Participants would talk to their therapy animals about past events with their former pets. For example, one resident spoke to the dog and asked if the dog had gone hunting. She remembered fondly how her pet dog would catch squirrels and rabbits and bring them to her.

The participants in the study were administered the Demographic and Pet History Questionnaire and Version 3 of the UCLA Loneliness Scale. The study tested AAT for graded response; that is, residents were exposed to AAT either once or three times a week. The results show that treatment once a week is as effective as three times a week.

The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences ( is a refereed publication of The Gerontological Society of America, the national society of professionals in the field of aging.

Sarah Carney | EurekAlert!
Further information:

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>