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The Effectiveness of Using Therapeutic Dog Program on the Elderly with Dementia in Nursing Homes of Taiwan

By Ming-Lee Yeh

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Purpose: This research was to develop and to evaluate a canine animal assisted therapy program in Taiwan.

Methods: Based on the concept of animal assisted therapy (AAT), this program included two stages. Based on a quasi-experimental research design, 58 elder residents with dementia in nursing homes participated in this program. Participants were divided into experimental (E group) and control group (C group) equally. 16 times of designed 'Therapeutic Dog' program was applied into E group, while regular living activity was applied into C group, during two months. The Multidimensional Observation Scale of Elderly Subjects (MOSES), Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) and the individual therapeutic goal (ITG) were used for evaluating the effectiveness of this program.

Results: The results reveal: 1) both groups had improvement in MOSES and CMAI, but no statistical significant; 2) E group had significantly improvement in the individual therapeutic goal fields of oral expression, movement, memory and socialization; 3) the best improvement held in the field of 'socialization', especially 'keeping focusing on an activity' (p<.0001), while the improvement of 'oral expression' was the second, especially 'focusing on the same topic' (p<.0001).

Conclusion: The canine AAT activities have significant benefits for dementia elders on the fields of oral expression, movement, memory and socialization, especially on keeping longer focusing on an activity, and reducing repeated negative behaviors.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date October 2013
Series Title Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration
Publisher Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
Location of Publication Prague, Czech Republic
Conference Title 24th International Nursing Research Congress
Format PDF
Size/Length 23
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animals in culture
  5. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  6. Dementia
  7. Dogs
  8. Health
  9. Long Term Care
  10. Mammals
  11. Nursing homes
  12. Pet ownership
  13. Pets and companion animals
  14. Service animals
  15. Taiwan