Assessing an animal-assisted treatment program for adults with aphasia: The persons with aphasia training dogs program

Study Description:
In this animal-assisted treatment study for people with stroke-aphasia, participants will work with an aphasia specialist to learn positive reinforcement techniques to train dogs in basic obedience behaviors (for example 'sit' or 'stay').
Aphasia Friendly Study Description:
• Do you have a dog that you’d like to teach some skills? • Or do you want to work with dogs living in a shelter? What we’ll do? • Teach you how to train 5 basic obedience skills, like “sit” and “stay”. This is not behavior treatment. The dog must be friendly to strangers. • We will do some assessment with you • We will also do some assessment with you and a dog Where? • Assessment with you: at Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI) • Work with dog: at your home or at a local animal shelter • We can help with travel back and forth How many sessions? • 3 or 4 assessments with just you. We will pay you for your time • 5 training sessions with dog • 2 extra assessment sessions with you and dog • If you want to work with shelter dogs, you’ll need to become a volunteer first. Participants should live within approximately 1 hour of the greater Philadelphia region.
Inclusion / Exclusion Criteria:
To participate individuals must have aphasia resulting from left cerebrovascular accident (CVA) (also known as stroke), those who have had more than one CVA will not be explicitly excluded. All participants must meet the following criteria: 1) be aged 21 years or older, 2) have English as a native or primary language, 3) evidence of having the linguistic and cognitive capacity to understand the research requirements, 4) demonstrate the willingness and stamina to participate in the protocol, 5) be negative for diagnosis of neurological injury or disease other than CVA. 6) reside within approximately 1 hour drive from MRRI (50 Township Line Rd, Elkins Park, PA).
Principal Investigator:
Sharon Antonucci
Contact Email:
Observational or Treatment:
Type of Treatment:
Duration of Study:
Over the course of 3 months, participants will participate in: a) 3-4 assessment sessions with a speech-language pathologist b) 5 dog training sessions c) 2 assessment sessions with a certified professional dog trainer
Study Start Date:
March 23, 2023
Study End Date:
March 23, 2024
Costs or Reimbursement:
Participants are compensated for their time participating in assessment sessions conducted at MRRI.
IRB Approval #
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