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The Impact of Pet Care Needs on Medical Decision-Making among Hospitalized Patients: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Patient Experience

By C. S. Polick, J. W. Applebaum, C. Hanna, D. Jackson, S. Tsaras-Schumacher, R. Hawkins, A. Conceicao, L. M. O'Brien, R. D. Chervin, T. J. Braley

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Abstract

Hospital-based protocols to support pet care needs for hospitalized patients may have potential to benefit patient health and wellbeing, but must be informed by experiences of hospitalized pet owners. The aim of this study was to determine the scope and need for pet care services among hospitalized patients. A panel of prior inpatients and their family members at a tertiary care center were surveyed about preferences, experiences, and need for assistance with pet care during hospitalization. Respondents (n = 113) expressed interest in a low/no-cost pet-boarding or foster program for adult patients struggling to find pet care assistance. The majority of respondents (n = 71; 63%) reported challenges securing pet care during a prior hospitalization, and/or knew someone who encountered similar challenges. Respondents also indicated that these challenges had a negative impact on health, recovery, or their own decision to receive medical care. Pet care challenges during hospitalization are likely common and have the potential to hamper medical decision-making and health outcomes of inpatients.

Publication Title J Patient Exp
Volume 8
ISBN/ISSN 2374-3735 (Print)2374-3735
DOI 10.1177/23743735211046089
Author Address School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. RINGGOLD: 16121Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. RINGGOLD: 3463Office of Patient Experience, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. RINGGOLD: 21614Department of Care Management, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. RINGGOLD: 21614Department of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. RINGGOLD: 21614Department of Neurology, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. RINGGOLD: 21614
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Human-animal bond
  2. One Health
  3. open access
  4. patient care
  5. patients
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  1. open access