Association between Dog Guardianship and HIV Clinical Outcomes
University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care 06/2013; 13(4). DOI: 10.1177/2325957413488832
Despite numerous potential health outcomes of dog guardianship, their value has not been examined in the HIV-positive population. The study objective was to examine the relationship between dog guardianship and HIV clinical outcomes (antiretroviral adherence [≥95% versus <95%], HIV viral load [≥48 versus <48 copies/mL], and CD4 count) among HIV-positive individuals. The authors conducted a secondary analysis of baseline data of 370 HIV-positive men on antiretroviral regimen enrolled in the Duo Project. Generalized estimating equations were used for inferential regression analyses, while controlling for the focal dog guardianship variable and nonfocal covariates. Current dog guardianship was reported in 28.7% of participants. Dog guardianship may be associated with higher CD4 (coefficient = 60.6, P = .052) and adherence ≥95% (odds ratio [OR] = 1.80, P = .048); however, having a detectable viral load was not related to dog guardianship (OR = 0.94, P = .85). Further clinical research with detailed dog guardianship data is needed to further examine the association between dog guardianship and HIV clinical outcomes.
Article: Pet ownership and physical health[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Pet ownership and brief human-animal interactions can serve as a form of social support and convey a host of beneficial psychological and physiological health benefits. This article critically examines recent relevant literature on the pet-health connection. Cross-sectional studies indicate correlations between pet ownership and numerous aspects of positive health outcomes, including improvements on cardiovascular measures and decreases in loneliness. Quasi-experimental studies and better controlled experimental studies corroborate these associations and suggest that owning and/or interacting with a pet may be causally related to some positive health outcomes. The value of pet ownership and animal-assisted therapy (AAT), as a nonpharmacological treatment modality, augmentation to traditional treatment, and healthy preventive behavior (in the case of pet ownership), is starting to be realized. However, more investigations that employ randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes and investigations that more closely examine the underlying mechanism of the pet-health effect, such as oxytocin, are needed.
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