The Development of a Dog-assisted Therapy Assessment for Use With Older Adults in Singapore (68524)

Session Information: Health Sciences/Social Work
Session Chair: Jung Hee Lee

Saturday, 27 May 2023 11:25
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 705
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) utilises human-animal interaction to achieve specific therapeutic goals. While its efficacy has been demonstrated across various settings worldwide, there is no one single assessment used to assess its practice. This study seeks to develop a dog-assisted therapy assessment (DATA) for use in a Singapore community hospital that utilises dog-assisted therapy (DAT) with older adults. A mixed method design was used. 64 occupational therapists (OTs) participated in an e-survey that examined their perceptions towards AAT. We then created the first draft of DATA and interviewed four OTs from the community hospital to create the second draft of DATA, which was then shared with an expert panel of 5 OTs who have experience with DAT. They then participated in an e-survey that examined their views on DATA. After analysing the survey results, we conducted an online focus-group discussion with the panel. The expert panel concurred on the need for DATA (1) to assess clients’ performance on motor, process and social interaction skills, and (2) to evaluate clients’ engagement during the DAT session itself. They also suggested tweaking the linguistic phrasing of the components in each domain to provide more context to allow OTs to assess the clients quickly. For instance, to assess clients' social interaction skills, we eventually broaden the descriptors to allow OTs to assess clients' interaction not only with the dog, but also with the dog handler and the OT. We would need to pilot DATA on a client group next to further validate and improve it.

Julia Wong, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore
Hua Beng Lim, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore
Desiree Lau, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore
Valerie Pung, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore
Ivana Ding, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Julia Wong is an Assistant Professor (Sociology) at the Singapore Institute of Technology. She did her postgraduate studies in UK at Oxford and Westminster. Her research interests focus on complementary therapies and restorative practices.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00