Prescribing Puppies: First Study on Pediatric Cancer Patients, Animal-Assisted Therapy
the MPR take:
The American Humane Association is starting the first clinical trial on animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and its effects on pediatric cancer patients and their families thanks to two grants from Zoetis and the Pfizer Foundation. The "Canines and Childhood Cancer Study" will evaluate the physical and psychological effects of animal therapy on the child patients, their families, and caregivers, plus the effects of therapy on the dogs. Blood pressure, heart rate, and psychological responses will be monitored in the patients, their families, and the caregivers, while the dogs' cortisol levels will be tested before and after visits.
To almost anyone who's cared for a child with cancer, it seems obvious: Sometimes the best medicine isn't a drug, it's a dog — four paws and a furry tail — that can make a kid feel better. “It's really this crucial exploration of the child-animal bond and how that is a crucial path to healing,” ...
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