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Impact of cat-assisted therapy (Ca-AT) among elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease at home: a case study

Najah Shawish (Department of Nursing, Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Mariam Kawafha (Faculty of Nursing, Irbid National University, Irbid, Jordan)
Andaleeb Abu Kamel (Department of Nursing, Al-Zaytoonah University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Dua’a Al-Maghaireh (Department of Nursing, Irbid National University, Irbid, Jordan)
Salam Bani Hani (Nursing Department, Irbid National University, Irbid, Jordan)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 25 January 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the effects of cat-assisted therapy (Ca-AT) on a patient in their homes, specifically investigating the effects on patient’s memory, behavioral pathology and ability to perform activities of daily living, independently.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study design was used in patient’s homes using three measuring scales, namely, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Barthel index (BI) and Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) Rating Scale.

Findings

The MMSE and BI mean scores were increased, whereas the Behavioral Pathology mean score was decreased. Patient negative behaviors were improved specifically, aggressiveness, anxieties, phobias, and caregiver burden was decreased.

Practical implications

Patients with AD could significantly benefit from Ca-AT in their own homes, and it could decrease caregiving burden.

Originality/value

Ca-AT is a newly developed type of animal-assisted therapy that uses cats to treat patients, especially elderly people with AD, in their homes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Since submission of this article, the following author has updated their affiliation: Mariam M. Kawafha Professor, Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Nursing, Philadelphia, Amman, Jordan.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Authorship contribution: Najah Shawish, Conceptualization, Project administration, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Original draft –Writing and Reviewing. Mariam Kawafha, Methodology, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Validation, Original draft – Reviewing and Editing. Andaleeb Abu Kamel, Conceptualization, Project administration, Validation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Original draft –Writing and Reviewing. Dua’a Al-Maghaireh, Methodology, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Validation, Original draft – Reviewing and Editing. Salam Bani Hani, Original draft – Reviewing.

Citation

Shawish, N., Kawafha, M., Abu Kamel, A., Al-Maghaireh, D. and Bani Hani, S. (2024), "Impact of cat-assisted therapy (Ca-AT) among elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease at home: a case study", Working with Older People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-10-2023-0042

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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