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Article

Benefits of Dog-Assisted Therapy in Patients with Dementia Residing in Aged Care Centers in Spain

1
Health Sciences PhD Program, Campus de los Jerónimos nº135, Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM), Guadalupe, 30107 Murcia, Spain
2
Department of Political Sciences, Social Anthropology and Public Finance, Calle Campus Universitario, University of Murcia, s/n, El Puntal, 30100 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Robbert Huijsman and Lucia Carboni
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1471; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041471
Received: 28 December 2020 / Revised: 26 January 2021 / Accepted: 31 January 2021 / Published: 4 February 2021
(1) Background: Currently, the scientific evidence on the benefits of assisted therapy with dogs in dementia is not clear. In this study, we want to evaluate such benefits through a randomized controlled clinical trial in multiple centers across the country. (2) Methods: The participants were people over 65 years old with dementia, residing in senior centers in Spain (n = 334). The experimental group underwent assisted therapy with dogs based on the Comprehensive Cognitive Activation Program in Dementia, for 8 months, with weekly sessions of 45 min. Data were collected at the commencement, middle, and end of the program, to evaluate the aspects using the Mini-Examination Cognitive, the modified Bartell Index, the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. (3) Results: The results show significant improvements in the experimental group versus the control group in the affective (T1 = p 0.000; T2 = p 0.000) and behavioral (T1 = p 0.005; T2 = p 0.000) aspects, with the affective aspect displaying greater progress in participants with additional depressive (p = 0.022) or anxiety (p = 0.000) disorders, shorter institutionalization periods (r = −0.222, p = 0.004), and those undergoing complementary psychotherapy (p = 0.033) or alternative therapy (p = 0.011). (4) Conclusions: Dog therapy is effective in improving the affective and behavioral aspects of institutionalized patients with dementia. View Full-Text
Keywords: dog-assisted therapy; care centers; dementia; neurocognitive disorder; Alzheimer’s dog-assisted therapy; care centers; dementia; neurocognitive disorder; Alzheimer’s
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vegue Parra, E.; Hernández Garre, J.M.; Echevarría Pérez, P. Benefits of Dog-Assisted Therapy in Patients with Dementia Residing in Aged Care Centers in Spain. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1471. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041471

AMA Style

Vegue Parra E, Hernández Garre JM, Echevarría Pérez P. Benefits of Dog-Assisted Therapy in Patients with Dementia Residing in Aged Care Centers in Spain. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1471. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041471

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vegue Parra, Eva, Jose Manuel Hernández Garre, and Paloma Echevarría Pérez. 2021. "Benefits of Dog-Assisted Therapy in Patients with Dementia Residing in Aged Care Centers in Spain" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 1471. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041471

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