The Effectiveness of Animal Assisted Therapy for Children Hospitalized in a Pediatric Setting
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate if a patient in the pediatric acute care
setting receiving Occupational Therapy (OT) services in adjunct with animal assisted therapy
(AAT) are more motivated to actively participate in the therapy session for a longer period
Thirty inpatients will be recruited to participate in this study. This study will utilize a
randomized crossover study design where the patients act as their own control. The treatment
period for hospitalized patients will include an on off pattern of incorporating AAT into
their OT session. Patients' participation of therapy will be assessed with a participation
scale (see Figure 2) and the OT session time. Patients will be evaluated for OT and the
therapist will determine goals based on functional status and needs of the particular
patient. Goals will be determined by providing a functional evaluation based upon
Occupational Therapists clinical observation, developmental standards and current functional
level of the patient.
Patients who are potential candidates for this study will be hospitalized at Children's
Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota on the St. Paul campus. All inpatients stated to have
decreased functional skills that have been referred by a physician to OT will be invited to
participate this study.
Patients have a difficult time participating in various therapies due to emotional stress,
anxiety, and feeling uncomfortable with the hospital environment. Limited studies have
demonstrated the value of AAT used in conjunction with OT for children, regardless of
diagnosis within the hospital setting. Results of this study can justify the use of this
valuable therapy not only for the selected population, but also for other disciplines such
as physical and speech therapy.
Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
OT Participation scale
The patients response to therapy can be meassures using the following behavior domains (cognition, fine motor, activities and daily living, feeding skills, active range of motion/activities, and functional Transfers).
Nicole Iammatteo, OT
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
United States: Institutional Review Board
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