The benefits of an animal-assisted intervention service to patients and staff at a children's hospital.

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Br J Nurs 2019 Apr;28(8):509-515

Lead Therapy Dog Handler, Southampton Children's Hospital, and Animal Assisted Intervention Advisor to the Royal College of Nursing Pets in Health Protocol.

An online survey of parents and staff was conducted to assess the effect of an animal-assisted intervention (AAI) service at a UK children's university teaching hospital. Three volunteer handlers with five golden retriever dogs provided AAIs across all eight paediatric wards including day, medical, surgical, oncology and intensive care. Interventions ranged from 'meet and greet' to assisting nursing care, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, as well as providing distraction during blood taking and other tests including radiology examinations. Two hundred surveys were completed and there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the service. No concerns were recorded with respect to the presence, cleanliness and behaviour of the dogs. There was a 100% recommendation that similar services should be supported across the UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2019.28.8.509DOI Listing
April 2019

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