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However, the data are strong enough in pushing for additional related or succeeding studies to further solidify the evidences found.
The results are considered…
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Article Summary: Animal-assisted Activity Among Patients with Cancer: Effects on Mood, Fatigue, Self-Perceived Health, and Sense of Coherence ArticleSummary
1. Sources of Evidences
Statistically-treated data regarding the collected difference scores of the profile mood states of the patients.
Difference in scores in relation to the sense of coherence by the patients, and the data obtained were also statistically-treated.
Health difference scores through self-perception of the patients were also statistically-treated and used as evidence of the effects of the trials.
Participant responses with regards to the soundness or their perceived effectiveness of the treatments (exit questionnaires’ results).
2. Type and Strength of Evidence
The evidence gathered may not be enough to based changes in clinical practice, due to the low number of participants. However, the data are strong enough in pushing for additional related or succeeding studies to further solidify the evidences found.
The results are considered to be randomized controlled trials without definitive results, as well as the limited applicability of the results. The category was also due to the small sample size of n=30.
Due to the small sample size, it is hard to assess the significance of the results between the three methods of visitations for adult patients undergoing non-palliative radiation therapy. Based on the hierarchy of evidence, the study falls under the category of randomized controlled trials, but without definitive results. This falls in the middle of the hierarchy pyramid, midway between strong reliability and weak reliability of evidence.
3. Did the article answer the PICO Question: For elderly cancer patients, does the use of pet therapy reduce the risk of depression compared with patients not exposed to pet therapy?
While the sample size of the study was small, most of the participants in the study were able to describe either one of the three methods of visits (dog visit, human visit, quiet reading session) as beneficial and even recommended them to other patients as well. The findings might very well produce the same results if given the chance to be repeated in other settings.
The patients in the study were more or less similar to the patients in the PICO question. The age range of the cancer patients in the study was from 39-77 years of age, with the mean ages from 58-61 years.
Findings may also be applicable to other settings, such as younger children undergoing chemotherapy, or to the elderly in retirement homes suffering from depression or anxiety disorders.
Reference
Johnson, R.; Meadows, R.; Haubner, J.; Sevedge, K. (2008). Animal-assisted activity among patients with cancer: effects on mood, fatigue, self-perceived health, and sense of coherence. Oncology Nursing Forum, 35(2): 225-232. Read More
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