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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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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.
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  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
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed