C7332A1F 4F97 4A6A 85DA C089AAC3B1AB

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Published on November 19, 2007

Author: avsar

Source: authorstream.com

Role of Pets in Health Promotion: A PAWS Program Case Study:  Belinda Wong MPH Candidate, Spring 2005 Department of Health Education San Francisco State University Role of Pets in Health Promotion: A PAWS Program Case Study Background / Significance I:  Background / Significance I U.S. 5 leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disease, and accidents In 2002, U.S spent 14.9% of GDP on national healthcare expenditures $1,553 billions per year ($5,440 per capita) Physician services alone $339.5 billion U.S. spends largest % of GDP and per capita healthcare expenditures in the world Background / Significance II:  Background / Significance II New type of treatment & prevention– The Healing Power of Animals Animals have been known to detect and treat a multitude of health conditions More than half of U.S. households have pets Pets are more common in households with children, but there are more pets than children Estimated 65m. dogs, 77m. cats, 45m. birds, and 75m. small animals Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS):  Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) Client animal support services: provide pet food, supplies, dog-walking, cat care and veterinary care supplements; advocacy for animals in housing; transportation and fostering services Works to help improve the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS and other disabling conditions by offering practical and emotional support in caring for their pets and by educating the community on the benefits and risks of animal companionship. Purpose:  Purpose To explore PAWS’ potential of expanding to other vulnerable populations beyond HIV/AIDS To advocate for pets and the human- animal bond as a potential complementary health intervention / prevention strategy Methods:  Methods Literature Review on human-animal bond (HAB), human-animal interaction (HAI), animal-assisted therapy (AAT), on health benefits of pets Secondary data analysis of PAWS client data to examine overall quality of the program Primary data analysis of community service providers on their attitudes on HAB and awareness of PAWS program & services Literature Review Findings:  Literature Review Findings Owning a pet is associated w/ lower blood pressure, heart rate, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. 28% increase in survival rates one year after cardiac surgery (Friedmann, et. al. 1980, 1995) Neurological effects of HAI found in stress hormone cortisol and in dopamine and serotonin Pet owners of various vulnerable populations experience less loneliness, depression, and anxiety Studies on AAT reduce fear and anxiety and increase social interactions Pet owners had fewer doctor visits compared with non-pet owners Survey Results (n=150):  Survey Results (n=150) Interview Results I (n=18):  Interview Results I (n=18) …definitely sources of comfort and support, lend structure to people’s lives and give them something worthy they can accomplish. …if I am home sick, she will come in and cuddle in bed with me, she knows when someone is not feeling well, she’s in tune with people’s both psychological and physical states. …having a connection with an animal makes a big difference in healing. Nurturing an animal and having the animal nurture you is a wonderful thing. There are very few people that allow themselves to feel that who don’t get something out of it. Interview Results II (n=18):  Interview Results II (n=18) Culture plays a part in determining attitude towards pets and role of animals in society. …They are a very integral part of life, but also in the context in which it happens largely behind family…there is an “animal place,” a different kind of relationship…where pets are in the scale of priorities. …People in the U.S. love their pets more than those in other countries. I don’t know if the reason is because this country is richer, so they treat their dogs like family…In China, dogs stay outside, they don’t care…now that they are getting better lives they might have extra money to have pets, but I think they will still treat them differently. …In the US people who want to have pets in their lives look for how they can do it no matter what their class, because it is much more a part of the culture. Out of 10, the importance of pets on overall health rated 9.5, for emotional health 9.3, and for physical health 7.2 Interview Results III (n=18):  Interview Results III (n=18) Recommendations:  Recommendations Based from client survey: Food Bank – expand hours and track food bank allocations Veterinary Fund – increase $ Communications – yearly service updates and call-return policy Based from key informant interviews: Utilize knowledge from other PAWS agencies Develop a community task force Include multiculturalism in organizational expansion Clearly distinguish PAWS program Conduct further research on the effectiveness of the PAWS program on client quality of life Discussion:  Discussion Pets can improve physical, mental, & social health Recognize that animal companionship is not for everyone 15 of the 18 providers did have pets Conclusion:  Conclusion The role of pets in health promotion can be as relevant and important as other prevention efforts PAWS is uniquely positioned to deliver their complementary health services to all communities. “PAWS understands the need for companion animals and how much better they make a sick person feel.” -- PAWS client Special Thanks and Acknowledgements:  Special Thanks and Acknowledgements Key informant interviewees (some of you are out there!) 2005 MPH cohort and faculty Roma Guy, MSW, CE committee chair Jose Ramon Fernandez-Pena, MD, MPA, committee PAWS staff and clients

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