Article #1: Animal-Assisted Activity among Patients with Cancer: Effects on Mood, Fatigue, Self-Perceived Health, and Sense of Coherence Objectives: This article reviews the extent Animal-Assisted Activity (AAA) using a canine and how AAA affects the mood (including anxiety, depression, fatigue, tension, and vigor), self-perceived health, and sense of coherence among patients undergoing radiation therapy upon first initial diagnoses of cancer. Animal Assisted Activity has been studied within multiple areas of one’s health; however in this study AAA is applied to test the effectiveness of relieving distress in cancer patients. Sample: Twenty eight Caucasian and two African American adults, undergoing non-palliative radiation therapy. The study was conducted in the outpatient radiation therapy units of two hospitals in a midsized Midwestern city. Study Design: A longitudinal, randomized pre-test and post-test design was applied. The relevant health sciences institutional review boards approved the study. Inclusion criteria for this study were English-speaking, literate adults (aged 18 years or older) with no known pet allergies beginning first-line radiation for a period of at least four weeks following initial diagnosis of cancer. Patients who were receiving radiation therapy for metastases were excluded. Those interested gave their consent, received an identification number, and were randomly assigned in one of three groups: the dog visit group, friendly human visit group or quiet reading group over a four-week period. Several tools were used to evaluate the effectiveness of each participants group. These tools included: demographic, self-perceived health, orientation to life and exit questionnaires, as well as a profile of mood tool. Data collection and visits or reading sessions occurred just before participants’ radiation treatments and took approximately 20 minutes each time. In keeping with the pretest/post-test design,...
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