What did the golden retriever say to the patient with arthritis?
This isn’t actually the start of a joke, but the beginning of a study. From January to June of this year, a pilot program was run in the outpatient department of the University Hospital in Florence, to evaluate the scientific efficacy of pet therapy in rheumatology.
There were twenty patients involved and three golden retrievers: Baloo, Maso and Dax. Stemming from the fact that the relationships between dogs and humans has enormous potential, the aim of the study was to deepen this relationship and bring benefits such as improved moods — which, in turn, can lead to better mobility for the patients.
The doctors in charge of the study intended to encourage the patients to explore new therapies and ways of life instead offeeling disheartened and leaving their fate up to the gods. A relationship with a four-legged friend can dramatically change the patient’s emotional sphere, reducing anxiety, while increasing social integration and quality of life, says La Stampa.
The second part of the study will concentrate on how this relationship affects the activity of upper limbs.