Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Animal Assisted Therapy: The Expansion of Social Work Practice
by Bode, Alexandria, M.S.W., Southern Connecticut State University, 2017, 26; 10272606
Abstract (Summary)

Elders who experience neurocognitive disorders and reside in Continuum Care Residential Community settings may experience a diminished quality of life (Lin et al. 2014). Currently, data is limited in describing the use of psychosocial interventions in an effort to increase the level of positive emotions, specifically the use of animal assisted dog therapy with elders diagnosed with a neurocognitive disorder. The purpose of this study was to explore how elders diagnosed with a neurocognitive disorder and reside in a Continuum Care Residential Community setting respond to the interactions with an animal assisted therapy dog. Two elderly women aged 80 years old and diagnosed with a neurocognitive disorder residing in a CCRC participated in four, thirty minute visitations where they interacted with an animal assisted therapy dog. Observations of their responses were recorded in a log. Findings indicated that these two elders, after the use of a therapy dog, experienced increased memory, increased use of reminiscence, increased verbalization, increased interpersonal connection, and a positive affect. Based upon these findings, it is strongly recommended that social workers utilize animal-assisted therapy with elders who are diagnosed with a neurocognitive disorder, an often-neglected group of people, in an effort to enhance their quality of life.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gesino, Jack P.
School: Southern Connecticut State University
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work
Keywords: Elders, Neurocognitive disorders
Publication Number: 10272606
ISBN: 978-0-355-07348-5
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