Introduction: This study examined acceptance by staff and patients of a therapy dog (TD) in the emergency department (ED). Methods: Immediately after TD visits to a University Hospital ED, all available ED staff, patients, and their visitors were invited to complete a survey. Results: Of 125 "patient" and 105 staff responses, most were favorable. Ninety-three percent of patients and 95% of staff agreed that TDs should visit EDs; 87.8% of patients and 92% of staff approved of TDs for both adult and pediatric patients. Fewer than 5% of either patients or staff were afraid of the TDs. Fewer than 10% of patients and staff thought the TDs posed a sanitary risk or interfered with staff work. Conclusion: Both patients and staff approve of TDs in an ED. The benefits of animal-assisted therapy should be further explored in the ED setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine