Feasibility of canine therapy among hospitalized pre-heart transplant patients

David Snipelisky, Katherine Duello, Shawn Gallup, Jane Myrick, Virginia Taylor, Daniel Yip, Nancy Dawson, Robert Walters, M. Caroline Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives Canine-assisted therapy (CAT) has been used in many settings with much success, yet no study has assessed its feasibility and receptiveness in hospitalized patients awaiting heart transplantation. Methods Patients admitted to our institution with a status I for heart transplantation during a 12-month period (April 2014-April 2015) were prospectively included in a feasibility pilot study. Patients were included if there was no history of transmittable disease or active infectious process and consented for study participation. Each patient was visited daily by a canine and quantitative and qualitative data regarding the visit were obtained. Results A total of 11 patients were included in the study. Most patients were men (n = 8, 72.7%) and the average age was 51.1 years. A total of 146 individual therapies took place, totaling 2718 minutes of CAT during the study period. Each patient had an average of 13.3 visits and each visit had an average duration of 14.7 minutes. Patient receptiveness, as measured by the CAT volunteer, averaged 9.9 (scale 0-10). No reports of infection transmission occurred. Conclusions Our study found that CAT among hospitalized pre-heart transplant patients is feasible and is a welcomed adjunct to usual medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-157
Number of pages4
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • canine-assisted therapy
  • complementary medicine
  • heart transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Feasibility of canine therapy among hospitalized pre-heart transplant patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this