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Family Dog-Assisted Adapted Physical Activity: A Case Study

By Amanda Tepfer, Samantha Ross, Megan MacDonald, Monique AR Udell, Craig Ruaux, Wendy Baltzer

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Category Journal Articles

Purpose: The aim of this case study was to examine the individual effects of an adapted physical activity, animal-assisted intervention (APA-AAI) with the family dog on motor skills, physical activity, and quality of life of a child with cerebral palsy (CP). Method: This study used an A-B-A single-subject design. The assessment phase (phase A) occurred pre- and post-intervention. This consisted of standardized assessments of motor skills, quality of life questionnaires, physical activity (measured using the GT3X+ accelerometer) and the human-animal bond. The intervention (phase B) lasted 8 weeks and consisted of adapted physical activities performed with the family dog once a week for 60 min in a lab setting. In addition, the participant had at-home daily activities to complete with the family dog. Results: Visual analysis was used to analyze the data. Motor skill performance, physical activity, quality of life and human animal interaction gains were observed in each case. Conclusions: These preliminary results provided initial evidence that the family-dog can play a role in healthy lifestyles through APA-AAI in children with CP.


Spencer CW Au

Date 2017
Publication Title Animals
Volume 7
Issue 5
Pages 35
Publisher MDPI AG
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani7050035
Language English
Additional Language English
  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted interventions
  3. Animal-assisted therapies
  4. Cerebral palsy
  5. Dogs
  6. Mammals
  7. motor skills
  8. Pet ownership
  9. physical activity