Engagement in elderly persons With dementia attending animal-assisted Group activity
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOlsen C, Pedersen I, Bergland A, Ender-Slegers, Ihlebæk CM. Engagement in elderly persons With dementia attending animal-assisted Group activity. Dementia. 2016:1-17 http://doi.org/10.1177/1471301216667320
The need for meaningful activities that enhance engagement is very important among persons with dementia (PWDs), both for PWDs still living at home, as well as for PWDs admitted to a nursing home (NH). In this study, we systematically registered behaviours related to engagement in a group animal-assisted activity (AAA) intervention for 21 PWDs in NHs and among 28 homedwelling PWDs attending a day care centre. The participants interacted with a dog and its handler for 30 minutes, twice a week for 12 weeks. Video-recordings were carried out early (week 2) and late (week 10) during the intervention period and behaviours were categorized by the use of an ethogram. AAA seems to create engagement in PWDs, and might be a suitable and health promoting intervention for both NH residents and participants of a day care centre. Degree of dementia should be considered when planning individual or group based AAA.