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Effects of animal-assisted therapy for responding to passive behavior in elderly nursing home residents with dementia: A single subject design study

By Cherie Ann Soprano

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Abstract

Passive behavior (PB) is a behavioral disturbance that affects 61 to 88 percent of nursing home residents (NHRs) with dementia. PB in persons with dementia (PWD) often leads to such negative consequences as, social isolation, loss of physical functioning, excess disability, and further cognitive decline, which, in turn, may lead to loss of quality of life, increased morbidity and mortality, and caregiver distress. PB in PWD is often misdiagnosed as depression and treated with psychoactive medications. The black-box warning against the use of psychoactive medications in PWD warrant the need for non-pharmacological interventions aimed at better managing PB in PWD. Many studies have suggested health and social benefits may be derived from animal-assisted therapy (AAT). The specific aim of the present study was to determine if a functional relationship existed between AAT and PB in PWD. The Need-driven Dementia-compromised Behavior Model (NDB) and attachment theory (AT) were the organizing frameworks for this study. A within-subject, repeated measurements, quasi-experimental A-B1-A´-B2 design was used to measure PB. Eight subjects, who met the study's inclusion criteria, completed 32, daily, 20-minute sessions under two conditions: dog present and dog absent. Sessions were videotaped and measures of PB were obtained from the video-recordings, using the Observational Form of Passivity in Dementia (O-PDS) scale. Pairwise t tests were performed on the adjusted mean scores of the O-PDS. Visual analyses of the graphs of O-PDS scores consistently demonstrated significantly less PB in 7 of the 8 subjects during the AAT conditions. Findings suggest that AAT can serve as a useful intervention for decreasing PB in PWD.

Submitter

Deborah Maron

Date 2010
Degree PhD
URL https://etda.libraries.psu.edu/paper/10526/
Language English
Notes Provided courtesy of Penn State's electronic Theses and Dissertations: https://etda.libraries.psu.edu
University Penn State
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Cherie Ann Soprano (2012), "Effects of animal-assisted therapy for responding to passive behavior in elderly nursing home residents with dementia: A single subject design study," https://habricentral.org/resources/1368.

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Tags
  1. Alzheimer disease
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Attachment behavior
  4. Behavioral research
  5. Cognition
  6. Cognitive disorders
  7. data
  8. Disabilities
  9. Gender
  10. Health
  11. Health status
  12. Human-animal bond
  13. morbidity
  14. Older adults
  15. open access
  16. Quality of life
  17. Social Environments
  18. Studies
Badges
  1. open access