Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing


Dr. Linda Hulton

Dr. Patra Reed


The purpose of this pilot project was to describe the effect of life-like robotic animals on the nurses’ ability to provide care, patients’ level of agitation, use of antipsychotic medications, restraint and sitter use for patients with dementia in an acute care setting. Nurses report challenges and feelings of helplessness while caring for patients with dementia. Dementia may cause depression, agitation, aggression (physical or verbal) and a decrease quality of life. Animal Assisted Therapy (ATT) is a growing therapy in many healthcare settings but there is a lack of literature specifically related to the use of AAT in the acute care setting to decrease agitation. This was an evidence-based pilot project using retrospective chart review and observational data collection using the Pittsburgh Agitation Scale (n = 4). In addition, a web-based survey platform was utilized for the post-intervention nurse survey (n = 21). The results of the nurse survey supports the use of life-like robotic animals to decrease the difficulty of completing particular tasks for the nurses. Using the sign test, there was a statistical difference (p

Keywords: dementia, Alzheimer’s, Animal Assisted Therapy, robotic animals and acute care, Pittsburgh Agitation Scale,



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.