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Effectiveness of the dog therapy for patients with dementia - a systematic review

By B. Klimova, J. Toman, K. Kuca

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dementia represents a mental and economic burden for both patients and their caregivers. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the effectiveness of animal assisted therapy (AAT) with special focus on canis therapy among people with dementia, specifically Alzheimer's disease. METHODS: The key method of this review study is a systematic review of the research studies detected in the Web of Science, Scopus and PubMed. The search was conducted for the studies dating from 2016 till 31 August 2018 because several review studies were published before. Eventually, only six studies were involved into the final analysis. RESULTS: The findings of this review, based on significant effect sizes, reveal that AAT may work as a beneficial and effective complementary treatment, especially in the area of behavioral and psychological symptoms, for patients with different degree of dementia severity if AAT is targeted at their specific needs and interests. CONCLUSIONS: More research in the area of methodology for the implementation of AAT is necessary, and more research should be conducted with respect to the use of AAT for the improvement of cognitive functions in people with dementia.

Publication Title BMC Psychiatry
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 276
ISBN/ISSN 1471-244x
DOI 10.1186/s12888-019-2245-x
Language eng
Notes 1471-244xKlimova, BlankaToman, JosefKuca, KamilOrcid: 0000-0001-9664-1109Journal ArticleResearch Support, Non-U.S. Gov'tSystematic ReviewEnglandBMC Psychiatry. 2019 Sep 6;19(1):276. doi: 10.1186/s12888-019-2245-x.
Author Address Department of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Hradec Kralove, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. kamil.kuca@fnhk.cz.Centre for Basic and Applied Research, Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Sokolska 581, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. kamil.kuca@fnhk.cz.
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Tags
  1. Age
  2. Alzheimer disease
  3. Animal-assisted therapies
  4. Animals
  5. Caregivers
  6. Dementia
  7. Dogs
  8. Effectiveness
  9. Females
  10. Humans
  11. Interventions
  12. Males
  13. Middle Aged Adults
  14. Older adults
  15. Reviews
  16. therapy
  17. Treatment outcomes