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:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>