OBJECTIVES: Animal assisted intervention is an increasingly accepted tool to improve human well-being. The present study was performed to assess whether dog assisted education has a positive effect on children suffering from rheumatic disorders with pain and adolescents with chronic pain syndrome. DESIGN: Two groups of juvenile patients were recruited: 7-17-year-old children in children with rheumatic diseases and adolescents with chronic pain syndromes. Overall, n=26 participated in the intervention, and n=29 in the control group. SETTING: The intervention group met once a month, 12 times overall, for working with man trailing dogs in various locations. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The influence of dog assisted education on quality of life (PedsQL(TM) Scoring Algorithm), pain intensity, perception, coping (Paediatric Pain Coping Inventory-Revised), and state anxiety (State Trait Anxiety Inventory) was assessed. RESULTS: The quality of life increased significantly in the investigated period, but for both, the intervention and the control group. The state anxiety of children was lower after the dog assisted education than before. After the dog training sessions, state anxiety was 18% to 30% lower than before the intervention. Some participants noted subjectively improved pain coping and changes in pain perception, which were not found in the data. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that for children with rheumatic diseases and adolescents with chronic pain syndromes dog assisted education (1) might lead to an increase of the quality of life, (2) leads to decreased state anxiety from pre to post intervention and (3) does not influence pain perception, frequency and intensity.
|Publication Title||GMS J Med Educ|
|Author Address||Klinikum der LMU München, Institute for Medical Education, Munich, Germany.Munich, Germany.Ulm, Germany.eo ipso Strategie & Entwicklung GmbH, Krailling, Germany.K-9 Headquarter, Pürgen, Germany.Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital, Department of Rheumatology & Immunology, Munich, Germany.|
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