Study says dogs can help reduce pain in hospital patients

Just 10 minutes with a dog can improve a patient’s well-being (Photo: Flickr / City Hall Balneário Camboriú / CreativeCommons)

A study published this week in the scientific journal PLOS One concluded that for patients suffering in emergency rooms, just 10 minutes beside a dog can help reduce pain.

The study’s lead author said, “There is research showing that pets are an important part of our health in various ways. They motivate us, they lift us, (give us) routine, the human-animal bond,” said the study’s lead author, Colin DellA professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada told CNN.

The survey asked more than 200 emergency room patients to report their level of pain on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest).

Dogs can improve the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals (Photo: Flickr University Libraries/Ohio/CreativeCommons)

Dogs can improve the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals (Photo: Flickr University Libraries/Ohio/CreativeCommons)

The control group received no intervention, while participants in the other group experienced 10 minutes of companionship from a therapy dog, and were then asked again about their pain levels. Those visited by dogs reported improvement.

The findings support what dog lovers have long suspected: that love for dogs can cure disease. In addition, it also provides a measure of optimism for patients and healthcare professionals who often deal with scarce hospital resources amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Certain factors can contribute to further influencing the experience of pain, such as anxiety, depression, and a lack of emotional support. Therefore, it is logical to believe that time spent with a creature that brings joy and does not nullify feelings can help a person feel better.

For the research authors, it is important to integrate animals into healthcare teams (Photo: Flickr/Howard County Library System/CreativeCommons)

For the research authors, it is important to integrate animals into healthcare teams (Photo: Flickr/Howard County Library System/CreativeCommons)

Due to limited scientific understanding of the effects of therapy dog ​​visits in hospitals, we welcome further research in the area. when. Colin, on the other hand, is time to stop asking if animals are helpful in this context and start asking how to help them and how to better integrate them into healthcare teams.

One of the biggest and most common concerns is that using therapeutic animals in hospitals can facilitate the transmission of dangerous diseases and hygiene, but the researcher said there are ways for health professionals to use them in a hygienic way to make the entire system work better.

In Brazil, hospitals are already taking advantage of this technology. Since 2009, the Hospital Universitario Kagoro, in Curitiba (PR), has promoted the Amigo Bicho Project, where dogs visit hospital patients in order to improve their well-being.

A similar procedure is performed in the pediatric sector of the Cancer Hospital, in São Paulo. There, who takes care of the sick is the Golden Retriever, a therapy dog ​​that has since been puppy trained for this type of work.

Two-way street

The hospital itself does not consider itself a pleasant environment for most people. In addition to the apparent tension over an area of ​​ailments and treatments, bright lights, long waits, and anxiety can all contribute to feeling bad.

Hospital environments, in and of themselves, can be very stressful (Photo: Flickr/City Hall Balneário Camboriú/CreativeCommons)

Hospital environments, in and of themselves, can be very stressful (Photo: Flickr/City Hall Balneário Camboriú/CreativeCommons)

This affects not only patients, but also health professionals. This is the case of Mike McFaddena Canadian nurse who sees the possibility of incorporating therapy dogs as part of a comprehensive approach to pain management in the emergency room.

“Emergency service teams can feel conflicted and suffer the moral distress of not being able to meet their expectations for optimal care,” he told CNN. “Because people’s experience of pain is multifaceted, we know that a multifaceted approach is most beneficial to patients’ needs.” .

“Having a therapy dog ​​not only has the benefit of supporting the patient experience, but I believe it also serves as a convenience for caregivers.”

Leave a Comment