Location

Schewel 215

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2022

Department

Nursing

Abstract

This paper will explore animal-assisted therapy used in intensive care units. Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at risk for developing an array of complications called post-intensive care syndrome, which can negatively affect patients’ psychological, motor, and cognitive abilities. While the widespread use of animal-assisted therapy in the ICU is still in need of improvement, studies have shown animal-assisted therapy can improve depression and anxiety, increase motor function, and strengthen patient participation in treatment. This is significant because the benefits of animal-assisted therapy can counteract the symptoms related to post-intensive care syndrome. The studies will be analyzed, and recommendations will be offered as to how animal-assisted therapy can prevent or decrease the symptoms of post-intensive care syndrome based on results of decreasing patient stress and pain perception, improving motor function, enhancing communication, and encouraging participation in treatment. This literature review will connect animal-assisted therapy with post-intensive care syndrome in order to contribute to making the healthcare environment more holistic and patient-centered. Certification and prevention guidelines will also be discussed to dispel fears that animal-assisted therapy causes injury and infections. With the use of animal-assisted therapy in the ICU, nurses can help to prevent post-intensive care syndrome and improve the quality of patients’ lives.

Keywords: ICU or intensive care unit, animal-assisted therapy or animal-assisted intervention or pet therapy, post-intensive care syndrome or PICS, and critical care or critical care unit

Faculty Mentor(s)

Professor Amanda Pribble, Dr. Lisa Jamerson, and Dr. Laura Kicklighter

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Apr 6th, 2:45 PM

Animal-Assisted Therapy in the Intensive Care Unit

Schewel 215

This paper will explore animal-assisted therapy used in intensive care units. Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at risk for developing an array of complications called post-intensive care syndrome, which can negatively affect patients’ psychological, motor, and cognitive abilities. While the widespread use of animal-assisted therapy in the ICU is still in need of improvement, studies have shown animal-assisted therapy can improve depression and anxiety, increase motor function, and strengthen patient participation in treatment. This is significant because the benefits of animal-assisted therapy can counteract the symptoms related to post-intensive care syndrome. The studies will be analyzed, and recommendations will be offered as to how animal-assisted therapy can prevent or decrease the symptoms of post-intensive care syndrome based on results of decreasing patient stress and pain perception, improving motor function, enhancing communication, and encouraging participation in treatment. This literature review will connect animal-assisted therapy with post-intensive care syndrome in order to contribute to making the healthcare environment more holistic and patient-centered. Certification and prevention guidelines will also be discussed to dispel fears that animal-assisted therapy causes injury and infections. With the use of animal-assisted therapy in the ICU, nurses can help to prevent post-intensive care syndrome and improve the quality of patients’ lives.

Keywords: ICU or intensive care unit, animal-assisted therapy or animal-assisted intervention or pet therapy, post-intensive care syndrome or PICS, and critical care or critical care unit