A Pawsitive Addition to the Emergency Room Patient Experience
College of Medicine, Department of Sociology, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan; Saskatoon Health Region; St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program (Saskatchewan)


Funded by University of Saskatchewan

Animal-assisted interventions have been applied in numerous clinical settings to help reduce patient pain, stress, and anxiety, among other indicators of human wellbeing. Such adverse physical and mental states are commonly experienced in hospital emergency departments, and thus therapy dogs are postulated to potentially decrease these as well as improve the overall emergency department patient experience. This study is a pilot evaluation of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program in the emergency department of the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Initial results were presented at the Western Emergency Department Operations Conference. Updated findings were presented at U of S Global Health Conference, and practicum student Megan Steeves was a recipient of the Poster Competition award. Learn more about the study here.