College students have high levels of stress, anxiety, and loneliness (Stewart , Dispenza, Parker, Chang, & Cunnien, 2014). College campus counselors strive to combat this stress and meet student needs through creative solutions (Stewart et al., 2014). Nursing student stress has a major impact on academic performance and testing anxiety is one prominent source of that stress (Gibbons, Dempster, & Moutray, 2011). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of dogs in decreasing student anxiety at a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program prior to a medication dosage calculation exam. This study uses a convenience sample randomly assigned to a control and intervention group for assessment of anxiety levels through a pre-pre, pre, post, and post-post test using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The intervention group experienced a therapy dog intervention prior to the medication dosage calculation exam. Qualitative information was collected through open-ended questions to determine the influence of the therapy dogs on the students’ anxiety levels; this information was categorized for themes and follow-up interviews completed for the most positive and negative perceptions. Using a repeated measures one-way MANOVA, p < .05, there is a statistically significance difference between groups Wilk’s ∧ = .761, F(8, 79) = 3.103, p < .01. Qualitatively, the results were positive showing the intervention calmed and relaxed students. This adds empirical knowledge to the field of animal-assisted therapy and nursing student anxiety-coping methods.
|Publisher||University of Kansas|
|Department||Curriculum & Teaching|
|Degree||Doctor of Philosophy|
|University||University of Kansas|
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