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Hearing dogs: a longitudinal study of social and psychological effects on deaf and hard-of-hearing recipients

By C. M. Guest, G. M. Collis, J. McNicholas

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Abstract

The organization Hearing Dogs for Deaf People provides assistance dogs that alert their deaf or hard-of-hearing recipients to key sounds, thus increasing their independence and also providing companionship. Fifty-one recipients took part in a longitudinal study to monitor the dogs' working performance over time and to examine the social and psychological effects of having a Hearing Dog. The Profile of Mood State (POMS) questionnaire and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) were used together with a Hearing Dog Questionnaire (HDQ) specifically developed for this study. There were a number of significant differences in measures of well-being between the period prior to placing the Hearing Dog and the period after placement, but there were no comparable differences during the year-long waiting period prior to placement of the dog. Recipients reported significant reductions in hearing-related problems such as response to environmental sounds; significant reductions in measures of tension, anxiety, and depression; and significant improvements in social involvement and independence. The longitudinal nature of this study supports evidence that these improvements persist for some time after the placement of a dog, with significant differences being reported, in many cases, up to 18 months after acquiring a dog.

Date 2006
Publication Title Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 252-61
ISBN/ISSN 1081-4159 (Print)1081-4159 (Linking)
Publisher Oxford Academic
DOI 10.1093/deafed/enj028
Language English
Author Address Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, The Grange, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Princes Risborough, Bucks HP27 9NS, United Kingdom. cmguest@hearing-dogs.co.uk
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Adults
  2. Age
  3. Deafness
  4. Dogs
  5. Females
  6. Hearing impairment
  7. Human-animal bond
  8. Humans
  9. Longitudinal studies
  10. Males
  11. Middle Aged Adults
  12. open access
  13. Ownership
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Questionnaires
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed