"Där vi inte kan nå fram, där kan faktiskt vårdhunden"
: Omvårdnadspersonalens erfarenhet av vårdhund för äldre med demens

Translated title of the thesis: "Where we can´t reach all the way, the dog can": Experience of nursing staff of dog-assisted therapy for elderly people with dementia
  • Emma Schär

    Student thesis: Master, one year


    Background: Most elderly people who lives with dementia, suffer in some point during the time of their disease from behavioural and psychological symptoms, which could mean much suffering for the person in question. Studies have shown that contact with dogs can decrease these symptoms. In Sweden today, dogs are trained to work with persons who suffers from dementia. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to illuminate nursing staff´s experience of working with dog- assisted therapy and elderly persons who suffer from dementia. Method: The study had a qualitative approach. Thirteen individual semistructured interviews with nursing staff were performed at four nursing homes in southern Sweden. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the material. Result: In the analysis four categories emerged, dog-assisted therapy creates joy and harmony, evokes a positive lasting atmosphere, bring back positive memories and skills and also creates contact and closeness. Conclusion: The study indicates that, when elderly people with dementia suffers from behavioural and psychological symptoms, dog- assisted therapy can increase their well- being, by creating joy, harmony and closeness and by making the person remember. More research is needed to reach an increased knowledge about the meaning of dog-assisted therapy for elderly people with dementia.

    Date of Award2015-Dec-22
    Original languageSwedish
    SupervisorAnn-Christin Janlöv (Supervisor) & Peter Hagell (Examiner)

    Educational program

    • Graduate Programme in specialist nursing - elderly care

    University credits

    • 15 HE credits

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Nursing (30305)


    • dementia
    • elderly
    • dog-assisted therapy
    • nursing staff

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