Type

Journal Article

Authors

Ivan J Perry
John P. Browne
Micaela Connolly
Anthony P Fitzgerald
Lisa Dowling
Louise N. Burgoyne
John P Browne

Subjects

Psychology

Topics
child cross sectional studies autism spectrum disorder parents children female psychology outcome measures animals child preschool attitude to health dogs animal assisted therapy infant family functioning male open data primary care humans environmental hazards therapy assistance dogs

Parents' perspectives on the value of assistance dogs for children with autism spectrum disorder: a cross-sectional study (2014)

Abstract Objective While there is an emerging literature on the usefulness of assistance dogs for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is a dearth of quantitative data on the value of assistance dog interventions for the family unit and family functioning. Using previously validated scales and scales developed specifically for this study, we measured parents’/guardians’ perceptions of how having an assistance dog affects: (1) child safety from environmental dangers, (2) public reception of ASD and (3) levels of caregiver strain and sense of competence. We also obtained open-ended response data from parents/guardians on benefits and constraints of having an assistance dog. Setting This study was based in the primary care setting, within the context of a specific accredited assistance dog centre in Ireland. Participants A total of 134 parents/guardians with an assistance dog, and 87 parents of children on the waiting list were surveyed. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome measures were scores on environmental hazards and public reception scales. The secondary outcome measures were scores on caregiver strain and competence scales. Results Parents/guardians of children who have ASD and an assistance dog rate their child as significantly safer from environmental dangers (p<0.001), perceive that the public act more respectfully and responsibly towards their child (p<0.001) and feel more competent about managing their child (p=0.023) compared with parents on the waiting list. There was a concentration of positive feeling towards assistance dog interventions with particular focus on safety and comfort for children, and a sense of freedom from family restrictions associated with ASD. The amount of dedication and commitment required to care for a dog were viewed as the primary constraints. Conclusions Our findings indicate that parents perceive that assistance dog interventions can be a valuable intervention for families with children who have ASD.
Collections Ireland -> University College Cork -> Epidemiology and Public Health
Ireland -> University College Cork -> Medicine - Journal Articles
Ireland -> University College Cork -> College of Medicine and Health
Ireland -> University College Cork -> Epidemiology and Public Health - Journal Articles
Ireland -> University College Cork -> Medicine

Full list of authors on original publication

Ivan J Perry, John P. Browne, Micaela Connolly, Anthony P Fitzgerald, Lisa Dowling, Louise N. Burgoyne, John P Browne

Experts in our system

1
Ivan J Perry
University College Cork
Total Publications: 188
 
2
John P. Browne
University College Cork
Total Publications: 54
 
3
Anthony P Fitzgerald
University College Cork
Total Publications: 73