Andrea Nichols, O.T.S., Kunkletown was part of a group of Misericordia University student researchers, enrolled in the Weekday Entry-Level Master of Science Program, who are presenting their graduate research project, "Dog-Assisted Therapy for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities: An Evidence-Based Practice Review with Implications for Occupational Therapy Practice,'' at the annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. It was also presented at the annual Misericordia University Student Graduate Research Presentations Conference in the Catherine Evans McGowan Room of the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library.
Misericordia researchers conducted an evidence-based practice review of the literature to determine whether individuals in long-term care facilities receiving dog-assisted therapy have an increased quality of life compared to individuals who do not receive this type of therapy. The students used three randomized control trials with participants who had dementia or a cognitive disorder. The study found statistical significance to support dog-assisted therapy, but there remains a lack of quality research with rigorous designs published in occupational therapy literature.