For Patients and Families
Pawprints is Boston Children's Hospital therapy dog visitation program, which provides hospitalized children and their families a healthy diversion from the usual hospital routine and an opportunity for social interaction.
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Special thanks to the Children's Hospital League for their generosity in helping support Pawprints. Make a gift to further support this special program.
The Pawprints Program is conducting research to further validate the importance of the bond between dogs and patients, and to address the lack of data about dog visitation in pediatric acute care settings. Our study is two-fold, focusing on both quantitative and qualitative outcomes. First, we will collect reports from both the child and parent about the child’s mood. Second, we will videotape visits in an effort to fully document the physical and emotional interaction between the patient, family, dog and handler. We are very excited about this project because, to date, research on dog visitation has not incorporated the use of video. We believe that video will provide us with rich examples of the human-animal bond that one would not otherwise see.
We hope this research study will allow us to evaluate our current program more effectively, expand the program, and provide recommendations to other hospitals about dog visitation.