Navigation Links
Faux Fido eases loneliness in nursing home residents as well as real dog, SLU study finds
Date:2/25/2008

ST. LOUIS -- A sophisticated robotic dog could be a good companion for your dog-loving grandmother who cant care for a living pet, a new Saint Louis University study suggests.

The researchers compared how residents of three nursing homes interacted with Sparky, a living, medium-sized gentle mutt, and Aibo, a doggie robot once manufactured by Sony that looks like a three-dimensional cartoon.

The most surprising thing is they worked almost equally well in terms of alleviating loneliness and causing residents to form attachments, says William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University.

For those people who cant have a living pet but who would like to have a pet, robotics could address the issue of companionship, Banks says.

To test whether residents connected better with Sparky or Aibo, researchers divided a total of 38 nursing home residents into three groups. All were asked questions to assess their level of loneliness. One group saw Sparky once a week for 30 minutes, another group had similar visits with Aibo, and a control group saw neither furry nor mechanical critter.

During visits, Marian Banks, Banks wife and co-researcher, brought Sparky or Aibo into a residents room and placed the pet companion near the resident. Both pets interacted with residents -- wagging their tails and responding to the people they visited.

After seven weeks, all residents were asked questions about how lonely they felt and how attached they were to Sparky or Aibo.

The residents who received visits from real and artificial pooches felt less lonely and more attached to their canine attention-givers than those who got visits from neither.

There was no statistical difference between whether the real or robotic dog did a better job easing loneliness and fostering attachments.

Whether powered by a beating heart or by a rechargeable battery, dogs can be powerful weapons in helping pet-loving nursing home residents feel less lonely and more connected to another being, Banks says.

There is a lot of loneliness in nursing homes and animal-assisted therapy whether from a dog or a robot is one answer for addressing that, he says.

Robots with personality also could help care for older adults who live alone and need a little monitoring, Banks adds. Think R2D2.

This health companion could follow a person in his home, giving reminders on when to take medication or sending out an alert when a person has suddenly gone from a vertical position to a horizontal one, Banks says.

A person could get tired of a robot following him around. But if you could change that inanimate voyeur to a personal part of his life and a companion, that could be entirely different.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Solomon
solomonn@slu.edu
314-977-8017
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Anemia and tropical diseases; Is pharmacogenomics ready for the clinic?
2. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
3. Prophylactic cranial irradiation in small cell lung cancer significantly increases survival
4. Fat on chest and upper back increases risk of insulin resistance
5. Handling Stress Properly Increases Good Cholesterol
6. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk among Chinese men
7. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
8. Genetic predisposition increases childhood asthma risk
9. Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers for men and women
10. Hypnosis Eases Pain of Breast Cancer Surgery
11. Expert on Emerging Infectious Zoonotic Diseases Joining K-State as a Regents Distinguished Professor
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) ... FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s ... Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about the technology: ... develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. ... pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today ... Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & ... award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the ... – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. ... , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health Literacy ... health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent ... today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an ... Puerto Rico , where the company ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, ... damage, temporary loss of power and minimal water damage ... operations have resumed, and the company expects to return ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... , Oct. 5, 2017  In response ... of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing ... – to be used as a first-line therapy ... Recognizing the ... AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health ... development. "In an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: