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Shelter Cat Adoption in Families of Children With Autism (Feline Friends)

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03625297
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : August 10, 2018
Last Update Posted : August 10, 2018
Sponsor:
Collaborators:
Winn Feline Foundation
Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Gretchen K Carlisle, University of Missouri-Columbia

Brief Summary:
The overall purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the introduction of a shelter cat into the family of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder on the social skills and anxiety of the child, and to examine stress in the cat.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Social Skills Anxiety Other: shelter cat Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Many families in the United States live with cats as companion animals, including families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). One in 68 children are diagnosed with ASD. There is no cure for ASD, and no one treatment works for all children. Symptoms of ASD include a lack of social skills and anxiety. Companion animals have been helpful for children with ASD. However, no one has studied stress of cats living in families of children with ASD. This study will place 64 pre-screened shelter cats in pre-screened homes and monitor the stress of the cats. Cats ages 10 months to four years that have been screened for calm behavior using a temperament, test will be adopted by families in the study. Families will also be screened for pet issues. No cat will be placed in a home with a child who has a history of aggression to animals. The study will also examine the social skills and anxiety of the children with ASD, and bonding of the parents and children with their cats. Five to eight million dogs and cats are relinquished to animal shelters in the United States each year. Thirty-eight percent of cats are given up for behavioral reasons. Studying cat stress and the placement of cats, with calm and non-aggressive characteristics into homes of families of children with ASD may help shed light on the likely success of the relationships between shelter cats and these families.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 64 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Intervention Model Description: This study uses a two-group randomized, repeated measures design with a delayed treatment control group.
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Other
Official Title: Shelter Cat Adoption in Families of Children With Autism: Impact on Cat Stress and Children's Social Skills and Anxiety ("Feline Friends")
Actual Study Start Date : June 23, 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date : June 1, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 1, 2020

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Adoption Anxiety

Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: Shelter cat adoption control group
Families of children with autism will complete a control period with no intervention, then adopt a shelter cat after completion of the control period
Experimental: shelter cat adoption
Families of children with autism will adopt a shelter cat
Other: shelter cat
families will adopt a shelter cat




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Social Skills of child with autism over time from baseline to 6, to 12 and to 18 weeks [ Time Frame: Control: Baseline, 6, 12 and 18 weeks Treatment: Baseline, 6, 12 and 18 weeks ]
    Social skills measured using the Social Skills Improvement System Rating Scale (SSiS-RS) with scores from 0-138.

  2. Change in Anxiety of child with autism over time from baseline to 6, to 12 and to 18 weeks [ Time Frame: Control: Baseline, 6, 12 and 18 weeks Treatment: Baseline, 6, 12 and 18 weeks ]
    Anxiety measured using the Screen for Child Related Anxiety Disorders (SCARED) with scores from 0-82.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. change in parent Human-animal Bonding over time from 2-3 days, to 6, to 12 and 18 weeks [ Time Frame: Baseline, 6, 12 and 18 weeks Treatment: Baseline, 2-3 days, 6, 12 and 18 weeks ]
    bonding of parent and cat using Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale with scores from 0-54.

  2. change in child Human-animal Bonding over time from 2-3 days, to 6, to 12 and 18 weeks [ Time Frame: Baseline, 6, 12 and 18 weeks Treatment: Baseline, 2-3 days, 6, 12 and 18 weeks ]
    bonding of child with autism and cat using the Companion Animal Bonding Scale with scores from 8-40



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Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • child with diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • no cat currently living with the family
  • willingness to adopt a shelter cat
  • English speaking
  • live within 125 miles of Columbia, Missouri

Exclusion Criteria:

  • child with Autism Spectrum Disorder having any history of animal aggression
  • children with cat allergies

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03625297


Contacts
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Contact: Gretchen K Carlisle, PhD 573-882-2266 carlislegk@missouri.edu
Contact: Rebecca A Johnson, PhD 573-882-2266 rajohnson@missouri.edu

Locations
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United States, Missouri
University of Missouri Recruiting
Columbia, Missouri, United States, 65211
Contact: Gretchen K Carlisle, PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Missouri-Columbia
Winn Feline Foundation
Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI)
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Gretchen K Carlisle, PhD University of Missouri-Columbia

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Responsible Party: Gretchen K Carlisle, Research Scientist, University of Missouri-Columbia
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03625297     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2008460
First Posted: August 10, 2018    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 10, 2018
Last Verified: August 2018

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No