INSPIRING CHANGE: Unleashing animal-assisted therapy
Paula Klemm PhD, RN, OCN
Cindy Waddington MSN, RN, AOCN
Elisabeth Bradley APRN-BC, CCNS, CCRN
Linda Bucher DNSc, RN
Michelle Collins MSN, RN-BC
Denise L. Lyons MSN, GCNS-BC
Maureen A. Seckel MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, CCNS, CCRN
Michaelene Urban MSN, RN

October 2010 
Volume 40  Number 10
Pages 12 - 13
  PDF Version Available!

ALTHOUGH MOST pregnancies proceed without major complications, a small percentage of women experience medical problems during pregnancy and are designated at risk or high risk for preterm labor. Healthcare providers often prescribe bed rest for pregnant women with complications such as premature labor, cervical shortening, pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and bleeding.1Nurses recognize, and research confirms, that these patients are at increased risk for many adverse physiologic and psychosocial effects, including boredom and anxiety.2,3This article describes how the clinical nursing research committee at our hospital studied whether animal-assisted therapy (AAT) could help reduce boredom and anxiety in these women. First, let's define this therapy.According to the Delta Society, AAT is a goal-directed intervention in which animals function as an important part of the treatment process.4 AAT teams have visited patients throughout Christiana Hospital (Newark, Del.), including

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