Media coverage of pet therapy research often gets it wrong psychology today electricity kwh cost


The headline of the Augusta Chronicle proclaimed, “National Study Shows Therapy Dogs Can Aid Kids Undergoing Cancer Treatment.” The article described a new study on the impact of therapy dog visits on the well-being of children with cancer and on their parents. The study was important, and the results were interesting. But the headline was wrong. The researchers actually found that interacting with therapy dogs had no impact on anxiety or the quality of life of the kids in the study. The widespread news coverage of the study 3 main gas laws, however, nicely illustrates the problem the media has with covering research on animal-assisted therapies. The Childhood Cancer Study

Designed and conducted by the American Humane Association, the study was an undertaking of Herculean proportions. From the initial planning stage to the publication of the final results, the study took gas x reviews ratings seven years and cost about a million dollars, most of which was provided by Zoetis, the world’s large producer of veterinary pharmaceuticals. In a press release, Dr. J. Michael McFarland, the company’s Executive Director of Companion Animal Marketing, described the goals of the study, “We intentionally sought to establish a rigorous challenge and demonstrate that multi-center, prospective, placebo-controlled studies are possible in the area of animal-assisted therapy.” The president and chief executive of American Humane referred to the research as a “game changer,” and she was right. This was the most ambitious study yet of the impact of animal-assisted therapy on sick children in real-world medical settings.

• The research was a true randomized clinical trial. “RCTs” are the proverbial gold standards in medical research because participants are randomly assigned to either a treatment group that gets an intervention or a control group. Because they are true experiments, RTCs can demonstrate that interventions such as interacting with a therapy dog actually causes improvements in the health and psychological well-being of patients.

The basic design of the clinical trial was fairly 4 gas planets straightforward. The participants were children between the ages of 3 and 17 years old who were undergoing outpatient treatment for cancer and their parents. Sixty of the kids were assigned to the therapy dog intervention group, and 46 of them were in the no-treatment control group. On the days they were receiving chemotherapy treatments, all the children completed a childhood anxiety scale as well as scales that measured their “general quality of life” and their “cancer quality of life.” (Parents completed electricity trading strategies the scales for kids under five years old.) Every week the children’s primary caretakers completed an adult version of the anxiety scale. Once a month, the parents also completed the Pediatric Inventory for Parents, a 42 item scale that measures several dimensions of stress in parents of children suffering from serious illnesses.

The sessions for kids in the therapy dog group consisted of unstructured interactions with a dog and its handler. On average, each of the children had 10 sessions of about 20 minutes each, usually with the same dogs. Analyses of videotapes of the session revealed that the kids spent most of the time in the sessions petting and playing with their therapy dog and talking about photos of the dogs. Children in the control group received standard care in the hospital. However, they sometimes got to play with the therapy dogs in the hospital hallways. The children’s heart rates and blood pressures were taken before and after the sessions.

The researchers were surprised to find that interacting with therapy dogs did not reduce stress or anxiety in kids undergoing cancer treatments (Hypothesis 1). Nor did children in the dog group have a better quality of life at the end of the study than children in the control gas and sand group (Hypothesis 2). Indeed, in the journal article, the researchers succinctly wrote, “No significant overall differences over time on any measures were observed.”

Interestingly, kids in the dog intervention group did show elevations in blood pressure and heart rate not found in the control group. The investigators, however, correctly argued that these differences were probably due to the fact that the kids in the dog group were more active during the sessions than the control group children. Effects on Parents?

Now the good news. Four months of dog therapy did not have any measurable effect on the children suffering from cancer. At the end of the study, however d cypha electricity, compared with the control group, parents with kids in the dog group exhibited slightly lower levels in their emotional distress, the frequency of stressful communications, and in stressful events related to medical care.

Naturally, the researchers were disappointed that their study did not support the idea that interacting with therapy dogs would decrease stress and increase the quality of lives of children undergoing chemotherapy. Indeed, they wrote, “The overall lack of significantly greater improvement in children in the intervention group was unexpected…”

To the investigators’ credit, however, the published journal article provided accurate descriptions of the methods and results of the study. It also included a thorough discussion of the limitations of the research and possible reasons for their negative results. And, unlike many research papers, they did not “spin” their results. This is a surprisingly common phenomenon gas prices going up 2016 in which authors of scientific reports purposefully omit or bury findings that do not fit their expectations ( here). However, in contrast to the objective and accurate journal article, most of the press coverage of the Childhood Cancer Study was misleading in that the stories failed to even mention the most important findings – that therapy dogs did not gas dryer vs electric dryer calculator produce any of the anticipated positive impacts on the well-being of the children undergoing treatment for leukemia. (See, for example, How Therapy Dogs Are Helping To Reduce Anxiety in Kids With Cancer — And Thier Parents.)

Journalists covering science and medicine have a hard job. They are often under tight deadlines, and most of them simply do not have the time or the scientific training to wade through the jargon and statistical minutia of stacks of research papers. Further, because of the “paywalls” on most journal articles, reporters rarely have access to research reports. As a result, journalists are usually left to rely on corporate or university press releases. Often, press releases over-simplify complex patterns of results, and they accentuate positive findings and ignore negative results.

Another problem is the public’s voracious appetite for feel-good stories on the healing power of animals. I got a sense of this some years ago when gasco abu dhabi I was talking to a New York literary agent about a book I wanted to write. I told the agent that, among other things, I would explain that swimming with dolphin programs have no lasting benefits for children with autism. After a long pause, she said…”Well, no one wants to read about that.