This article reports observations made during a study investigating the role of a therapy dog in reducing anxiety in urban children visiting the dentist in a dental clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The design and execution of the study were affected by methodological issues such as the reaction of urban children to the dog in the clinic, the tools used to measure anxiety in the children, the age and pet-ownership status of the children and the personality of the therapy dog. Suggestions made for researchers designing similar studies include allowing children to become comfortable with the therapy dog before beginning formal data collection, working with younger children who have made fewer visits to the dentist and using or developing more accurate tools for measuring behavioural and physiological anxiety.
|Author Address||Center for Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.email@example.com|
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