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Therapy dogs can calm kids with cancer

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Oct 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Washington, October 24: Dogs can give us company in our solitary hours and now new research has shown that therapy dogs can improve anxiety levels of pediatric cancer patients and their parents. Many hospitals have therapy dogs who visit patients. During the visits, children pet or talk to the dog, brush its fur, view the dog’s photos, watch the dog practicing tricks or commands, and learn about dog breeds. In prelimiry investigation of an ongoing study to be concluded in 2016, the researchers collected data on blood pressure, pulse rates and anxiety levels of children before and after a weekly visit from a therapy dog. Prelimiry findings show that blood pressure readings in the group receiving animal-assisted interventions remains more stable across all sessions than in the control group, said lead researcher Amy McCullough, tiol director of humane research and therapy, American Humane Association. Similarly, there was a higher degree of variability in heart rate within the control group patients than with the treatment group patients. (IANS)

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