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Furry Friends

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Katelyn Teske

on 6 February 2014

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Transcript of Furry Friends

Furry Friends
What is Health Promotion?
Health and Well-being in Long Term Care Facilities
What is Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)?
Evidence for AAT
Components of Intervention
AAT in Edmonton
Defined as a “subjectively experienced aversive emotional state that is related to the perception of unfulfilled intimate and social needs”

Social loneliness due to isolation
Emotional loneliness due to lack of intimate attachment

Long-term Care Facilities (LTFCs)
Institutions, operating under a hospital-like approach for individuals with complex needs who are unable to manage independently in their community
Environmental conditions at these facilities contribute to loneliness among residents due to the restrictions imposed on the residents
Prevalence of loneliness in 30 LTCFs: A)20% B)83% C)56% D)15%
What is Health Promotion?
The World Health Organization defines Health Promotion as:
“The process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions”
Animal interactions can foster psychological and emotional well-being
Immediate results
Evidence of AAT
AAT and OT
Occupational therapists have the training necessary to facilitate therapeutic and client-centered AAT
Occupational therapists are able to take a holistic approach and thus ensure that the experience is positive and enriching
AAT addresses the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of a person
Occupational therapists can incorporate AAT into their interventions to work on cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functioning
What is Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)?
A goal-directed intervention that incorporates an animal as an essential part of treatment. The therapist is able to facilitate change through the interactions between the client and animal.
Components of Intervention
Loneliness & LTCFs
Loneliness is common among residents in LTCFs ranging from 39-72%
This is related to:
Multiple losses
Restrictions on independence
Environmental conditions due to the restrictions imposed on the residents such as loss of personal possessions

Implications on health and well-being
AAT in Edmonton
Loneliness & Social Interaction
Within Edmonton, there are several agencies that offer information on AAT including:


What might be your goals for using AAT with clients?
Things to consider: cognitive, physical and psychosocial elements
Sensory integration
Motor skills (gross and fine)
Combat touch deprivation
Interpersonal skills
Emotional regulation
Decrease loneliness
AAT meets PEO
Addresses all aspects of the PEO model!
May be coping with loss of independence
Loss of socialization opportunities
Physical and/or cognitive impairments
Death of a loved one
It does not 'feel like home'
Minimal personal possessions
Restriction on independence
Lack of social network
Limited recreation opportunities
Restricted community involvement
Occupational imbalance
(i.e. a lot of seating time)
Population characteristics
Trained and certified dogs
Consists of a “handler and dog who meets appropriate standards and provide canine-supported activities”
Therapists need to determine how they will access a trained therapy dog
Variety of interactions: petting, brushing, holding, communicating to the dog, feeding the dog, playing catch, and reminiscing about past animal companions
Can be implemented individually or in groups
Varied settings and interactions with therapist
Varied length/duration of sessions and therapy time
Resident aversion to animals
Medical conditions that may become aggravated from animal presence
Lack of intervention standards or protocols
Access to certified animal
Outcome Measures
A wide variety are reported in the literature
Self report
Loneliness Scales
UCLA Loneliness Scale
Beck Depression Inventory, and Geriatric Depression Scale have also been used as AAT outcome measures

Following a relocation to a new facility, social loneliness can be attenuated by
promoting social interaction and engagement in social activities
Residents with poor social support network, have higher rate of depression
Depression has been associated with a higher level of emotional loneliness
Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is one type of activity with a common cited benefit of
promoting social interaction and communication

1. World Health Organization. (2014). Health promotion. Retrieved from
2. Drageset J, Kirkevold M, Espehaug B. Loneliness and social support among nursing home
residents without cognitive impairment: A questionnaire survey. Int J Nurs Stud 2011 5;48(5):611-619.
3. Luanaigh, C. Ó., & Lawlor, B. A. (2008). Loneliness and the health of older people.
International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 23(12), 1213-1221.
4. Drageset, J., Espehaug, B., Kirkevold, M. (2012) The impact of depression and sense of
coherence on emotional and social loneliness among nursing home residents without cognitive impairment - a questionnaire survey. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21(7-8), 965-974.
5. Banks, M.R, & Banks, W.A. (2005). The effects of group and individual animal-assisted
therapy on loneliness in residents of long-term care facilities. Anthrozoös, 18(4), 396-408.
6. Behling, R. J., Haefner, J., & Stowe, M. (2011) Animal programs and animal assisted therapy
in Illinois long-term care facilities twenty years later (1990-2010). Academy of Health Care Management Journal, 7(2),109-117.
7. The Chimo Animal Assisted Therapy Project. (2011). AAT overview. Retrieved from
8. Bernstein, P.L., Malaspina, A., & Friedmann, E. (2000). Animal-assisted therapy enhances
resident social interaction and initiation in long-term care facilities. Anthrozoös,13(4), 213-224.
9. Velde, B.P., Cipriani, J., & Fisher, G. (2005). Resident and therapist views of animal-assisted
therapy: Implications for occupational therapy practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 52(1), 43-50.
10. Cook, D. G. (2009). Quality of life in care homes: Messages from the voices of older
people. Journal of Care Services Management, 3(4), 391-407.
11. Russell, D. W. (1996). UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3): Reliability, validity, and factor
structure. Journal of personality assessment, 66(1), 20-40.
12. Kramer, S.C., Friedmann, E., & Bernstein, P.L. (2009). Comparison of the effect of human
interaction, animal-assisted therapy, and AIBO-assisted therapy on long-term care
residents with dementia. Anthrozoos, 22(1), 43–57.
13. Panzer-Koplow, S. (2000). Effects of animal-assisted therapy on depression and morale
among nursing home residents. PhD dissertation. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
14. Townsend, E.A. & Polatajko, H.J. (2007). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational
therapy vision for health, well-being & justice through occupation. Ottawa, ON: CAOT-ACE.
15.OT-Innovations.com. (2014). Occupational therapy innovations: Pet therapy. Retrieved from
16. Winkle, M. (2003). Dogs in practice: Beyond therapy. OT Practice, 8(4), 12–17.
17. Cipriani, J., Cooper, M., DiGiovanni, N. M., Litchkofski, A., Nichols, A. L., & Ramsey, A.
(2013). Dog-assisted therapy for residents of long-term care facilities: an evidence-based review with implications for occupational therapy. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 31(3), 214-240.
18. Banks, M. R., & Banks, W. A. (2002). The effects of animal-assisted therapy on loneliness in
an elderly population in long-term care facilities. The journals of gerontology series A: biological sciences and medical sciences, 57(7), M428-M432.
19.Williams, E., & Jenkins, R. (2008). Dog visitation therapy in dementia care: a literature
review. Nursing older people, 20(8), 31.
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