Dogs as a pain reliever? According to a Canadian study published in the journal “Plos One,” the presence of dogs in the emergency room could help manage pain, stress and anxiety in patients. This is called “canitherapy”. This surprising method may be of interest to healthcare providers whose concern is pain management.
To conduct their study, the researchers focused on the care of patients in the emergency department of the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Canada. They first asked the volunteers to rate their pain level out of ten. They also provided information about their level of anxiety and well-being. Then the specialists offered the patients to practice canine therapy for ten minutes. It’s about spending time with a handler and a dog.
After these ten minutes, the volunteers were asked to reassess their level of pain, anxiety, and well-being. People who did not want dog therapy were similarly asked to reassess their level of pain, anxiety and well-being. A total of 211 volunteers participated in the study.
Positive effects on anxiety and well-being
“Participants in the therapy dog team group rated pain significantly lower than that in the control group when measured after the intervention, researchers find. This effect is similar for men and women”† The positive effects are also found on well-being and anxiety. However, the researchers saw no effect on blood pressure or even heart rate 30 minutes after the experiment.
While the effects of dog therapy need further investigation, previous studies point to the calming role of animals in both patients and healthcare professionals. In 2012, researchers “found that patients and staff supported visiting therapy dogs at a US Midwestern hospital”say the specialists.
(ETX Daily Up)