Animal-Assisted Therapy for Hospitalized Heart Failure Patients
Effects of complementary therapies on heart failure, a leading cause of hospitalization, are unknown. Animal-assisted therapy improves physiological and psychosocial variables in healthy and hypertensive subjects.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 12-minute hospital visit with a therapy dog improves hemodynamics, lowers neurohormone levels, and decreases state anxiety in patients hospitalized with heart failure.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
|Official Title:||Use of Animal-Assisted Therapy to Decrease Cardiopulmonary Pressures, Neurohormone Levels, and State Anxiety in Patients Hospitalized With Heart Failure|
- Blood pressure
- heart rate
- pulmonary artery pressure
- pulmonary capillary wedge pressure
- right atrial pressure
- cardiac index
- systemic vascular resistance
- plasma levels of epinephrine
- plasma levels of norepinephrine
- state anxiety
|Study Start Date:||November 2001|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||July 2004|
Context: Effects of complementary therapies on heart failure, a leading cause of hospitalization, are unknown. Animal-assisted therapy improves physiological and psychosocial variables in healthy and hypertensive subjects.
Objectives: To determine whether a 12-minute hospital visit with a therapy dog improves hemodynamics, lowers neurohormone levels, and decreases state anxiety in patients hospitalized with heart failure.
Design, Setting, Participants: A 3-group (volunteer-dog team, volunteer only, and control) randomized repeated-measures experimental design was used in 76 adult patients with advanced heart failure hospitalized between November 2001 and July 2004. Longitudinal analysis was used to model differences among the 3 groups at 3 time points.
Interventions: One group received a 12-minute visit from a volunteer with a therapy dog, another group received a 12-minute visit from a volunteer, and the control group received usual care, at rest. Data were collected at baseline, 8 minutes after the intervention started, and 16 minutes (4 minutes after intervention ended).
Main Outcome Measures: Blood pressure, heart rate, pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, right atrial pressure, cardiac index, systemic vascular resistance, plasma levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine, and state anxiety.
Results: Compared with the control group, patients visited by a volunteer-dog team showed significantly greater decreases in pulmonary artery pressure during (5.34, P = .003) and after (5.78, P = .001) the intervention, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure during (3.09, P = .02) and after (4.31, P = .002) the intervention, and epinephrine (17.54, P = .04) and norepinephrine (240.14, P = .02) levels during the intervention. After the intervention, patients visited by the volunteer-dog team showed the greatest decrease in state anxiety over patients visited by a volunteer only (6.65, P = .003) and the control group (9.13, P < .0001).
Conclusions: Animal-assisted therapy improves cardiopulmonary pressures, neurohormone levels, and anxiety in patients hospitalized with heart failure.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00391456
|United States, California|
|UCLA Medical Center|
|Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095|
|Principal Investigator:||Kathie Cole, RN, MSN||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Principal Investigator:||Anna Gawlinski, RN, DNSc||UCLA Medical Center & School of Nursing|