Purpose of the study was to examine if animal-assisted activity with a dog (AAA) in home-dwelling persons with dementia (PWDs) attending day-care centers would have an effect on factors related to risk of fall accidents, with balance (Berg balance scale) and quality of life (Quality of Life in Late-stage Dementia) as main outcome. The project was conducted as a prospective and cluster-randomized multicenter trial with a follow-up. 16 adapted day-care centers recruited respectively 42 (intervention group) and 38 (control group with treatment as usual) home-dwelling PWDs. The intervention consisted of 30 min sessions with AAA led by a qualified dog handler twice a week for 12 weeks in groups of 3–7 participants. The significant positive effect on balance indicates that AAA might work as a multifactorial intervention in dementia care and have useful clinical implication by affecting risk of fall. Trial registrations ClinicalTrial.gov; NCT02008630.
Olsen, C., Pedersen, I., Bergland, A., Enders-Slegers, M. J., & Ihlebæk, C. (2016). Effect of animal-assisted activity on balance and quality of life in home-dwelling persons with dementia. Geriatric Nursing, 37(4), 284–291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2016.04.002