Human-Animal Interaction to Promote Recovery Following Pediatric Brain Injury

2019-07-17 10:04:59 | BioPortfolio


This study evaluates the addition of therapy dogs in inpatient physical and occupational therapy. Data will be collected across 10 PT and 10 OT sessions, half of which will incorporate a therapy dog.


Children with acquired brain injuries (ABI) treated on an inpatient rehabilitation unit are at significant risk for long term functional impairment, highlighting the importance of maximizing the effectiveness and utilization of inpatient rehabilitation therapies. The proposed study seeks to explore the value of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) during inpatient rehabilitation following pediatric ABI. Investigators will employ a within subjects cross-over trial; all participants will have a volunteer dog involved in 50% of their physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) sessions over a 2-week study period. AAT will consist of integration of a dog from the hospital volunteer dog program in PT and OT sessions, while the non-AAT condition will be treatment as usual (TAU) as identified by the patients' treatment team. Information regarding patient engagement/participation in therapy, affect, and physiological variables will be collected during each session. Session notes will also be coded for additional qualitative information. Qualitative feedback from patients and families, therapists, medical teams, and dog handlers will also be collected throughout the project to examine feasibility and satisfaction with the intervention as well as potential barriers and areas for improvement. Investigators will 1) examine the effect of AAT on level of patient participation and patient affect during PT and OT sessions, 2) Explore the effect of AAT on functional outcomes using a historic cohort comparison group, and 3) explore the physiological response of patients, and examine a number of variables (injury type/severity, child sex and anthropomorphism, therapist factors, and dog handler factors) to begin to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from AAT during inpatient rehabilitation for ABI.

Study Design


Brain Injuries


AAT - Dog, TAU - No Dog


Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
United States


Not yet recruiting


Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-07-17T10:04:59-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.

Brain injuries occurring over a wide area instead of specific focal area.

A form of acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.

Traumatic injuries to the cranium where the integrity of the skull is not compromised and no bone fragments or other objects penetrate the skull and dura mater. This frequently results in mechanical injury being transmitted to intracranial structures which may produce traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhage, or cranial nerve injury. (From Rowland, Merritt's Textbook of Neurology, 9th ed, p417)

Traumatic injuries involving the cranium and intracranial structures (i.e., BRAIN; CRANIAL NERVES; MENINGES; and other structures). Injuries may be classified by whether or not the skull is penetrated (i.e., penetrating vs. nonpenetrating) or whether there is an associated hemorrhage.

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Pediatrics is the general medicine of childhood. Because of the developmental processes (psychological and physical) of childhood, the involvement of parents, and the social management of conditions at home and at school, pediatrics is a specialty. With ...

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