Presenter Information

Nadia SarneckiFollow

Start Date

18-8-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-8-2017 11:30 AM

Description

Background: Over the years, there have been major developments that assist with the improvement of social skills and health among patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and canine-assisted therapy is one of them. Access to therapeutic resources such as canine-assisted therapy has introduced an inspiring, motivating, and furry new way for providing social and health benefits in patients with ASD in the hospital setting.

Objectives: The primary purpose this integrative review is to highlight the areas of research that have assessed the areas of social functioning positively affected by canine-assisted therapy and health benefits as a result of canine-assisted therapy in patients with ASD.

Method: An integrative literature review guided by Whittemore & Knafl was conducted using CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO database. A search was conducted using these terms: autism, autism spectrum disorder, ASD, canine-assisted therapy, dog therapy, animal therapy, social skills, health benefits, and oxytocin.

Findings: Seven studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for research related to how canine-assisted therapy can provide social and health benefits in patients with ASD. It is understood that the range and level of severity of ASD can include social, communicative, and behavioral deficits. Based on these areas of functioning known to be impaired in individuals with ASD, it is proven that canine-assisted therapy increases social interaction, increases communication, and decreases problem behaviors. On the other hand, there are also health benefits as a result of canine-assisted therapy in patients with ASD and these include: decreased levels of cortisol, lower pain perception, and blood pressure readings within normal range.

Conclusion: Canine-assisted therapy positively affects areas of social functioning, as well as health benefits, in patients with ASD. The results from a variety of research studies show that patients with ASD are sensitive to the presence of canines, which in turn, help us understand and support the theory that canine-assisted therapy has a direct impact on social and health benefits for patients with ASD. For future development of canine-assisted therapy, more public exposure, accessibility to canines for therapeutic purposes and empirical studies will generate more research on the benefits associated with canine-assisted therapy and how it can provide social and health benefits in patients with ASD.

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Aug 18th, 10:00 AM Aug 18th, 11:30 AM

Canine-assisted Therapy: How it can Provide Social and Health Benefits to Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Background: Over the years, there have been major developments that assist with the improvement of social skills and health among patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and canine-assisted therapy is one of them. Access to therapeutic resources such as canine-assisted therapy has introduced an inspiring, motivating, and furry new way for providing social and health benefits in patients with ASD in the hospital setting.

Objectives: The primary purpose this integrative review is to highlight the areas of research that have assessed the areas of social functioning positively affected by canine-assisted therapy and health benefits as a result of canine-assisted therapy in patients with ASD.

Method: An integrative literature review guided by Whittemore & Knafl was conducted using CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO database. A search was conducted using these terms: autism, autism spectrum disorder, ASD, canine-assisted therapy, dog therapy, animal therapy, social skills, health benefits, and oxytocin.

Findings: Seven studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for research related to how canine-assisted therapy can provide social and health benefits in patients with ASD. It is understood that the range and level of severity of ASD can include social, communicative, and behavioral deficits. Based on these areas of functioning known to be impaired in individuals with ASD, it is proven that canine-assisted therapy increases social interaction, increases communication, and decreases problem behaviors. On the other hand, there are also health benefits as a result of canine-assisted therapy in patients with ASD and these include: decreased levels of cortisol, lower pain perception, and blood pressure readings within normal range.

Conclusion: Canine-assisted therapy positively affects areas of social functioning, as well as health benefits, in patients with ASD. The results from a variety of research studies show that patients with ASD are sensitive to the presence of canines, which in turn, help us understand and support the theory that canine-assisted therapy has a direct impact on social and health benefits for patients with ASD. For future development of canine-assisted therapy, more public exposure, accessibility to canines for therapeutic purposes and empirical studies will generate more research on the benefits associated with canine-assisted therapy and how it can provide social and health benefits in patients with ASD.

 

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