Presenter Information

Molly GrittFollow

Start Date

18-6-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

18-6-2019 10:30 AM

Description

Medical Alert Animals for Anaphylaxis Prevention in Patients with Mast Cell Diseases:

An Integrated Literature Review

Molly Gritt

Faculty Sponsor: Elizabeth P. Anderson RN, PhD.

Background: Mast Cell Disease is a broad term that covers a variety of conditions that can cause many debilitating systemic symptoms. In severe cases, triggers or allergens can cause the patient to have a life-threatening reaction, anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is associated with poor health outcomes, including shock, hospitalizations, and expensive and sometimes invasive interventions. The current way clinicians deal with anaphylaxis is to promote the avoidance of known triggers and to pharmacologically treat the reaction when it occurs. Anaphylactic reactions are similar to other medical conditions, such as seizures or diabetic episodes, in which the patient cannot always recognize the start of an episode, early enough to abort the problem. Medical alert animals have been utilized in a variety of different conditions to help the patient detect potential issues before they arise.

Objectives: To evaluate: 1) the status of the research done pertaining to whether medical alert animals can effectively reduce the number of hospitalizations among patients with mast cell diseases. 2) compile current studies in order to synthesize what components of medical alert animals for different conditions in the literature that can be applied to the promotion of health in patients mast cell-related disorders.

Methods: Eight articles containing current research were obtained from a variety of electronic databases including CINAHL, PubMed, and Bookshelf, and appropriate sources were used to conduct an integrated literature review. After the quality of the research was assessed based on the following: authenticity, methodological quality, representativeness, theoretical rigor, relevance, and informational value, the data was synthesized and analyzed for themes and patterns that could help answer the research questions.

Results: A deficit in research and knowledge addressing the topic regarding medical alert animals being utilized for reaction detection and prevention in mast cell diseases was found. To date, there is only one peer reviewed case study about a pediatric patient with Mastocytosis using a medical alert animal to prevent and detect mast cell mediator release reactions in a clinical and home setting. While this article describes in depth the process of training, alerting/ responding behaviors, and how the dog detects physiological changes, it does not provide concrete quantitative evidence that animals can be trained to be helpful in detecting mast cell reactions across the entire population.

The second purpose of this integrative literature review was to analyze the literature related to the use of medical alert animals for other conditions and determine trends or patterns of factors of the medical alert animal that could be applied to medical alert animals for mast cell diseases. Diseases that were discussed in the literature that include the following: diabetes (hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia), seizure disorders, psychiatric disorders, and cardiac disorders. When comparing all of the selected studies. Five predominant themes were identified that could be applied when utilizing a medical alert animal. Each study discussed at least one or more of the following five themes: 1.) Alert Cues: authors suggested possible cues that describe how the animal is able to alert to physiological problems, 2.) Complex Training Method: authors described a complex and extensive training process to maintain a successful medical alert animal 3.) Improved Quality of Life: participants in studies reported multiple elements that lead to an increased quality of life with utilization of a medical alert animal 4.) Decrease in Medical Episodes: studies determined that the use of medical alert animals reduced the number of emergency events and adverse medical episodes. 5.) Alerting Behaviors: authors described various alerting and response behaviors that trained dogs may demonstrate when they sense an impeding health episode.

Conclusions: Major Limitations was that the majority of studies lacked a theoretical/conceptual rigor, representativeness due to many confounding variables in each study that could alter how well the results represented the entire population. The findings suggest that there is a definite need for more quality research about the topic of medical alert animals and the prevention of anaphylaxis in mast cell diseases. There are similar themes surrounding medical alert animals for other illnesses that may be beneficial to consider when structuring further research about the topic.

Key terms: medical alert, mast cell, anaphylaxis, research, allergen detection, medical alert animals, anaphylaxis prevention

Included in

Nursing Commons

Share

COinS
 
Jun 18th, 9:00 AM Jun 18th, 10:30 AM

Medical Alert Animals for Anaphylaxis Prevention in Patient’s with Mast Cell Diseases: An Integrative Review of Literature

Medical Alert Animals for Anaphylaxis Prevention in Patients with Mast Cell Diseases:

An Integrated Literature Review

Molly Gritt

Faculty Sponsor: Elizabeth P. Anderson RN, PhD.

Background: Mast Cell Disease is a broad term that covers a variety of conditions that can cause many debilitating systemic symptoms. In severe cases, triggers or allergens can cause the patient to have a life-threatening reaction, anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is associated with poor health outcomes, including shock, hospitalizations, and expensive and sometimes invasive interventions. The current way clinicians deal with anaphylaxis is to promote the avoidance of known triggers and to pharmacologically treat the reaction when it occurs. Anaphylactic reactions are similar to other medical conditions, such as seizures or diabetic episodes, in which the patient cannot always recognize the start of an episode, early enough to abort the problem. Medical alert animals have been utilized in a variety of different conditions to help the patient detect potential issues before they arise.

Objectives: To evaluate: 1) the status of the research done pertaining to whether medical alert animals can effectively reduce the number of hospitalizations among patients with mast cell diseases. 2) compile current studies in order to synthesize what components of medical alert animals for different conditions in the literature that can be applied to the promotion of health in patients mast cell-related disorders.

Methods: Eight articles containing current research were obtained from a variety of electronic databases including CINAHL, PubMed, and Bookshelf, and appropriate sources were used to conduct an integrated literature review. After the quality of the research was assessed based on the following: authenticity, methodological quality, representativeness, theoretical rigor, relevance, and informational value, the data was synthesized and analyzed for themes and patterns that could help answer the research questions.

Results: A deficit in research and knowledge addressing the topic regarding medical alert animals being utilized for reaction detection and prevention in mast cell diseases was found. To date, there is only one peer reviewed case study about a pediatric patient with Mastocytosis using a medical alert animal to prevent and detect mast cell mediator release reactions in a clinical and home setting. While this article describes in depth the process of training, alerting/ responding behaviors, and how the dog detects physiological changes, it does not provide concrete quantitative evidence that animals can be trained to be helpful in detecting mast cell reactions across the entire population.

The second purpose of this integrative literature review was to analyze the literature related to the use of medical alert animals for other conditions and determine trends or patterns of factors of the medical alert animal that could be applied to medical alert animals for mast cell diseases. Diseases that were discussed in the literature that include the following: diabetes (hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia), seizure disorders, psychiatric disorders, and cardiac disorders. When comparing all of the selected studies. Five predominant themes were identified that could be applied when utilizing a medical alert animal. Each study discussed at least one or more of the following five themes: 1.) Alert Cues: authors suggested possible cues that describe how the animal is able to alert to physiological problems, 2.) Complex Training Method: authors described a complex and extensive training process to maintain a successful medical alert animal 3.) Improved Quality of Life: participants in studies reported multiple elements that lead to an increased quality of life with utilization of a medical alert animal 4.) Decrease in Medical Episodes: studies determined that the use of medical alert animals reduced the number of emergency events and adverse medical episodes. 5.) Alerting Behaviors: authors described various alerting and response behaviors that trained dogs may demonstrate when they sense an impeding health episode.

Conclusions: Major Limitations was that the majority of studies lacked a theoretical/conceptual rigor, representativeness due to many confounding variables in each study that could alter how well the results represented the entire population. The findings suggest that there is a definite need for more quality research about the topic of medical alert animals and the prevention of anaphylaxis in mast cell diseases. There are similar themes surrounding medical alert animals for other illnesses that may be beneficial to consider when structuring further research about the topic.

Key terms: medical alert, mast cell, anaphylaxis, research, allergen detection, medical alert animals, anaphylaxis prevention