Title

Benefits, challenges, and needs of people living with cancer and their companion dogs: An exploratory study

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2-2019

Abstract

© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Purpose/Objectives: The study examined whether the bond with a companion dog is associated with well-being among people with cancer, and described the perceived benefits, challenges, and needs accompanying the relationship with the dog. Design: The design was cross-sectional. Sample: Participants were 140 people recently diagnosed with cancer with at least one dog in their household. Methods: The online survey included measures of the human–pet bond, depressive symptoms, positive affect, and health-related quality of life, as well as open-ended questions about the experience of having a dog since being diagnosed with cancer. Findings: Although the bond with a companion dog was not directly linked with well-being, the association between the human–pet bond and depressive symptoms depended in part on treatment status. Conclusions: Companion dogs may play an important role in the lives of people recently diagnosed with cancer. Implications for psychosocial providers: Health care providers can help to support the bond with a companion dog.

Publication Name

Journal of Psychosocial Oncology

Volume Number

37

First Page

110

Last Page

126

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1080/07347332.2018.1529010

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