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Date of Graduation
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,
Denby, Abby, "The use of life-like robotic animals in the acute care setting to assist in the care of patients with dementia" (2020). Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP) Final Projects, 2020-current. 8.
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