SUNScholar will be unavailable on 25 April 2018 from 08:00 to 10:00 South African Time for routine maintenance. Please contact scholar@sun.ac.za for queries.

Effects of an animal visitation intervention on the depression, loneliness, and quality of life of older people: A randomised controlled study

Buckle, Chanelle J (2015-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Older people—especially those living in residential facilities—comprise a vulnerable and oftentimes frail, but large and growing subset of the global population. Various age-related and socio-political, -economic, and -environmental factors place the quality of life of older people largely at stake, which warrants the development and implementation of low-cost, practical, and effective intervention strategies that foster the health of older people. One type of intervention that shows promise in addressing certain health needs of the older population is animal-assisted interventions. Animal-assisted intervention (AAI) is currently the most widely used term to describe any intervention that purposely incorporates animals as part of a therapeutic or generally beneficial process with humans. The aim of the present study was to generate empirical evidence on the effect of a dog visitation intervention (a type of AAI) on the occurrence of depression and loneliness and the quality of life of older people residing in a residential facility. A randomised pretest-posttest control group design was implemented to achieve this aim. Thirty-five consenting older people residing in a South African residential facility for the aged participated in the study. Participants were randomised into an experimental group (n = 17) and a control group (n = 18). Experimental group participants were subjected to a 10-week dog visitation intervention wherein they received weekly visits of about 60 minutes each from three registered visiting dogs and their individual owners (volunteers). Control group participants, on the other hand, did not receive the intervention and continued living their daily lives as usual. Throughout the intervention the dog visitation sessions took place consistently on the same day and time each week. Experimental group participants gathered in the residential facility’s large entry lounge during visits. The other residents of the facility were kindly denied access to this venue during that time. Volunteers took dog treats (e.g., biscuits) and toys (e.g., balls) along to visits, where experimental group participants were allowed to observe, talk to, hold, stroke, play with, and feed treats to the dogs. All participants were assessed before (pretest) and after (posttest) the intervention using the Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form (GDS-SF), the UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 (UCLA LS-3), and the World Health Organisation Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF). At pretest measurement participants additionally completed a biographical and pet history survey. A p-value equal to or smaller than .05 was used to indicate significant results. Analysis of the data revealed no significant differences between the experimental and control groups on the pretest and posttest scores of the GDS-SF and the UCLA LS-3. Reliability analyses of the WHOQOL-BREF subscales revealed unsatisfactory α-values and this measure was therefore not analysed any further. These findings and the limitations of the present study are discussed, and recommendations for further research are made.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Ouer mense—veral die wat woon in residensiële fasiliteite—verteenwoordig ’n kwesbare en dikwels brose, maar groot en groeiende subgroep van die wêreldbevolking. Verskeie ouderdomsverwante en sosio-politiese, -ekonomiese, en -omgewingsfaktore plaas die lewensgehalte van ouer mense grootliks op die spel. Die ontwikkeling en implementering van lae-koste, praktiese, en effektiewe intervensiestrategieë wat die gesondheid van ouer mense bevorder is daarom belangrik. Een soort intervensie wat belowend lyk om sekere gesondheidsbehoeftes van die ouer bevolking aan te spreek, is troeteldier-ondersteunde intervensies. Troeteldier-ondersteunde intervensie (TOI) is tans die term wat algemeen verwys na enige intervensie wat doelbewus gebruik maak van diere as deel van ’n terapeutiese of algemeen voordelige proses met mense. Die doel van die huidige studie was om empirise bewyse voort te bring oor die effek van ’n intervensie met honde (’n soort TOI) op die voorkoms van depressie, eensaamheid en lewensgehalte van mense wat in ’n residensiële fasiliteit vir ouer mense woon. ’n Ewekansige voortoest-natoets kontrolegroepontwerp is geïmplementeer om hierdie doel te bereik. Vyf en dertig ouer persone wat woon in ’n Suid-Afrikaanse residensiële fasiliteit vir ouer mense het ingestem om aan die studie deel te neem. Deelnemers is ewekansig verdeel in ’n eksperimentele groep (n = 17) en ’n kontrolegroep (n = 18). Die eksperimentele groep is blootgestel aan ’n 10-weke lange intervensie waarin hulle weekliks besoeke van ongeveer 60 minute elk van drie geregistreede besoekhonde en hul individuele eienaars (vrywilligers) ontvang het. Die kontrolegroep het nie die intervensie ontvang nie en het voortgegaan met hul daaglikse lewens soos gewoonlik. Deur die loop van die intervensie het die besoeke konsekwent op dieselfde dag en tyd elke week plaasgevind. Tydens besoeke het die eksperimentele groep vergader in die groot sitkamer van die fasiliteit. Tydens die duur van hierdie besoeke is ander inwoners van die fasiliteit vriendelik toegang tot die lokaal geweier. Vrywilligers het lekkernye (bv., beskuitjies) en speelgoed (bv., balle) vir hul honde saamgeneem na besoeke. Die eksperimentele groep is toegelaat om die honde waar te neem, met hulle te gesels, hulle te streel, met hulle te speel, en lekkernye aan hulle te voer tydens besoeke. Alle deelnemers is voor (voortoets) en na (natoets) die intervensie onderwerp aan die Geriatriese Depressieskaal Verkorte Vorm (GDS-VV), die UCLA Eensaamheidskaal Weergawe 3 (UCLA ES-3), en die Wêreld Gesondheidsorganisasie se Lewensgehaltevraelys (WGOLG-BREF). Tydens voortoetsmeting het deelnemers ook ’n biografiese en troeteldier geskiedenis vraelys voltooi. ’n P-waarde kleiner as of gelyk aan .05 is gebruik as ’n indikasie van beduidende resultate. Dataontledings het geen beduidende verskille opgelewer tussen die eksperimentele groep en kontrolegroep se voortoets- en natoetstellings op die GDS-VV en UCLA ES-3 nie. Betroubaarheidsanalises van die WGOLG-BREF het onbevredigende α- waardes opgelewer. Laasgenoemde skaal is daarom nie verder ontleed nie. Die resultate en die tekortkominge van die studie word bespreek, en aanbevelings vir verdere navorsing word gemaak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98082
This item appears in the following collections: