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Understanding the participation outcomes for persons with disability when partnered with assistance dogs: A scoping review

By N. Futeran, L. Mackenzie, S. Wilkes-Gillan, C. Dickson

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Assistance dogs are trained to support persons living with disability and mitigate limitations that hinder their participation in everyday activities. Despite participation being a frequent challenge for people with disabilities, evidence linking assistance dog provision to improved participation outcomes is underdeveloped. This scoping review aimed to improve understanding by mapping the participation outcomes claimed in research on assistance dogs using the International Classification of Functioning (ICF), Disability and Health framework. METHODS: Using the Arksey and O'Malley's six-step framework, this scoping review searched six databases. Data were collected, mapped and summarised in accordance with the domains outlined in the ICF. RESULTS: In total, 38 studies across 41 papers met the inclusion criteria. Included studies investigated assistance dogs who were partnered with people living with physical disabilities, mental illness, autism and chronic conditions that require alerting (e.g., epilepsy and diabetes). Mapping of participation outcomes suggested that assistance dogs can have a positive impact on participation in many areas of daily life. CONCLUSION: Findings can assist practitioners, funders and policymakers to recognise the value of assistance dogs as a support for people with disability. However, further research is needed to address limitations regarding study designs, for example, the outcome measures used.

Publication Title Aust Occup Ther J
ISBN/ISSN 0045-0766
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12801
Language eng
Notes 1440-1630Futeran, NicolaMackenzie, LynetteOrcid: 0000-0002-1597-2051Wilkes-Gillan, SarahDickson, ClaireJournal ArticleReviewAustraliaAust Occup Ther J. 2022 Apr 25. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12801.
Author Address Discipline of Occupational Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.Occupational Therapy, Assistance Dogs Australia, Engadine, New South Wales, Australia.
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Tags
  1. Assistance animals
  2. Disabilities
  3. Dogs
  4. participation
  5. Service animals