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The impact of different dog-related stimuli on engagement of persons with dementia


Marx, M. S., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Regier, N. G., Dakheel-Ali, M., Srihari, A., Thein, K.


American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, Volume: 25, No.: 1, Pages.: 37-45

Year of Publication



Objective: To provide further empirical evaluation of the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy in nursing home residents with dementia. Methods: Participants were 56 residents of 2 suburban Maryland nursing homes and had a diagnosis. Activities of daily living performance was assessed via the minimum data set and cognitive functioning assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination. Engagement with dog-related stimuli was systematically assessed via the observational measurement of engagement. Results: Mean engagement duration was significantly lower for the small dog. Highest mean engagement duration was found for the puppy video, followed by the real dog and lowest was for the dog-coloring activity. Positive attitudes were found toward the real dogs, robotic dog, the puppy video, and the plush dog. No significant differences were found in engagement duration among our dog-related stimuli. Conclusions: Nursing homes should consider animal-assisted therapy and dog-related stimuli, as they successfully engage residents with dementia. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Bibtex Citation

@article{Marx_2008, doi = {10.1177/1533317508326976}, url = {}, year = 2008, month = {dec}, publisher = {{SAGE} Publications}, volume = {25}, number = {1}, pages = {37--45}, author = {M. S. Marx and J. Cohen-Mansfield and N. G. Regier and M. Dakheel-Ali and A. Srihari and K. Thein}, title = {The Impact of Different Dog-related Stimuli on Engagement of Persons With Dementia}, journal = {American Journal of Alzheimer{textquotesingle}s Disease and Other Dementias} }


activity, animal assisted therapy, dementia, dog, dog related stimuli, dogcolouring, dogrelated, dogs, nursing home residents, nursing homes, puppy, robot, stimuli, videos

Countries of Study


Types of Dementia

Dementia (general / unspecified)

Types of Study

Cohort Study

Type of Outcomes

ADLs/IADLs, Cognition, Other


Nursing Homes

Type of Interventions

Non-pharmacological Treatment, Technology (telephone, telecare, telehealth, robots, GPS)

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Animal / Pet Therapy, Arts and Music Interventions (including Art and Music Therapy)