ERIC Number: ED252762
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Use of Pets in Therapy with Elderly Nursing Home Residents.
Sutton, Diana M.
In order to test the effectiveness of the use of pets with the elderly in a nursing home setting, three concurrent studies were conducted. The 29 residents participating in the experiment were selected by nursing home personnel as meeting the criteria of being depressed and withdrawn, and receiving no regular (weekly) visitors. Study I compared group differences in responsiveness to others in each of three conditions: pet therapy group, visitor-only group, and control group. Study II measured individual responses in the pet therapy condition over time. Study III was a single case experiment. Pet therapy and visitor-only visits were scheduled for 15 minutes each, once weekly for 6 weeks, in the privacy of the resident's room. Two original instruments were used to score behaviors. The Baseline Behavior Observation Form was used for pre- and post-observations. The Resident/Pet Observation Form was used to score pet therapy visits. Results of all three studies showed that following the introduction of pets to the nursing home, residents engaged in more social behaviors such as speaking to peers, making eye contact, smiling, and initiating conversation with the researcher. Overall results indicate that pets could significantly increase social behaviors in elderly nursing home residents. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).