Undercover Dogs: Pet Dogs in the Sleep Environment of Patients with Chronic Pain
Abstract(1) Background: Chronic pain is a significant and prevalent condition in many industrialized nations. Pain and sleep’s reciprocal nature suggests that interventions to improve sleep may decrease pain symptoms. Little attention has been paid to the influence that owning a pet dog has on the pain/sleep relationship. Typical advice to remove pets from the bedroom negates the possible positive benefit of human-animal co-sleeping. Aim: To investigate pain patients’ perceived impact of pet dog ownership on sleep. (2) Methods: We carried out a content analysis of interview data focused on the impact of pet dog ownership on sleep. The qualitative dataset comes from a subgroup of participants in a larger study examining the pain patient/canine relationship. This subgroup of participants from the larger study was asked, “Does your dog have a positive or negative impact on your sleep?” The data were thematically coded using an iterative approach. (3) Findings: Codes included: companionship; physical presence/’cuddles’; routine/schedule; distraction from anxiety/worry at night; reassuring/protective presence; active intervention to keep participant safe; daytime activity to promote sleeping at night; and reciprocal concern for the sleep of the pet dog. (4) Conclusions: Pet dogs may play important roles in helping people with chronic pain achieve sleep onset and maintenance. Removing the dog to improved sleep could be counter-productive and lead to additional sleep-related issues. View Full-Text
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Brown, C.A.; Wang, Y.; Carr, E.C.J. Undercover Dogs: Pet Dogs in the Sleep Environment of Patients with Chronic Pain. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 157.
Brown CA, Wang Y, Carr ECJ. Undercover Dogs: Pet Dogs in the Sleep Environment of Patients with Chronic Pain. Social Sciences. 2018; 7(9):157.Chicago/Turabian Style
Brown, Cary A.; Wang, Yuluan; Carr, Eloise C.J. 2018. "Undercover Dogs: Pet Dogs in the Sleep Environment of Patients with Chronic Pain." Soc. Sci. 7, no. 9: 157.
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