How feasible is it to compare effects of companion dogs and service dogs on quality of life in people with movement disorders?

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dc.contributor.advisor Buetow, S en
dc.contributor.advisor Littleton, J en Spence, Helen en 2015-06-09T20:56:17Z en 2015 en
dc.identifier.citation 2015 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract This thesis examined the question: How feasible is it to compare effects of companion dogs and service dogs (Mobility Dogs) on quality of life (QOL) in people with movement disorders? Previous studies have focused on the impact of either companion dogs or service dogs on human health and well-being, with equivocal findings. A need remains to identify appropriate methodologies and methods for human-canine interaction research to avoid pitfalls, and understand comparative effects of companion dogs and service dogs as QOL interventions. Recognising time as a key component in living with chronic conditions and dogs, a longitudinal, predominantly qualitative, case-oriented study design was implemented. Seventeen participants (21–68 years) with diagnosed movement disorders were prospectively followed for 12 months. Two groups were purposefully recruited; one group (n=7) partnered with, or waited for, Mobility Dogs; a second group (n=10) lived with companion (pet) dogs. My interactions with them at baseline, six and 12 months triangulated data from: semi-structured and walkalong interviews; observations; a photovoice assignment; and a standardised measure of QOL. My general inductive analysis of these data indicated eight roles that dogs can play to impact QOL: companion, protector, icebreaker, caregiver, empowerer, motivator, entertainer and tool/assistive technology. Dogs appeared to be a complex QOL intervention fulfilling these different roles, for different people, across different environments. For each category of dog, perceived benefits generally outweighed drawbacks. Overall, Mobility Dogs seemed to offer more avenues to enrich QOL but the service dog model does not suit everyone; companion dogs may be equally effective for some people with movement disorders. An expanded perspective of the service dog concept was suggested in order to: recognise the importance of psychosocial benefits alongside functional assistance tasks when granting public access rights; offer small breeds of service dog as well as larger breeds; and allow people with suitably trained companion dogs to apply for public access. The usefulness of my methodology in generating these nascent findings indicates the feasibility in practice of comparing effects of companion dogs and Mobility Dogs on QOL in people with movement disorders. Implications for future research designs and directions, the long-term management of movement disorders and service dog organisations are discussed. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264778801102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title How feasible is it to compare effects of companion dogs and service dogs on quality of life in people with movement disorders? en
dc.type Thesis en Health Sciences en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 488314 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2015-06-10 en

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