Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a preventable chronic inflammatory lung disease characterized by persistent obstruction to airflow through the lungs, usually caused by harmful inhaled particles. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide (WHO, 2021).
Under the leadership of Dr. Erika Penz (COPD specialist) and Dr. Colleen Dell (AAT specialist), two exploratory patient-oriented projects have been completed with a patient-family advisory group in the joint area of AAT in COPD.
Our patient-oriented team is currently writing an article, led by student Julia Visentini, that will serve as the foundation for the development and evaluation of an AAT in COPD intervention.
Funding to date has been provided by a University of Saskatchewan Respiratory Research Centre Team Building Grant & the Office of One Health and Wellness. Special recognition is given to the memory of our team member, Fred.
What multi-dimensional benefits do COPD patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers perceive of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) and how would an AAT intervention improve the symptoms and self-management of symptoms for those living with COPD?