New Study to Examine Benefits of Pets for Older Americans | HABRI

New Study to Examine Benefits of Pets for Older Americans

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Awards Grant to University of Missouri

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Awards Grant to University of Missouri

Washington, D.C. (September 9, 2015) — The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) today announced it has awarded a $43,000 grant to the University of Missouri for a new study to explore how companion animals effect social engagement and psychological well-being in adults ages 55+.

The primary objective of the study is to examine the influence of companion animal ownership on the social engagement (social contacts and organizational participation) and psychological well being (life satisfaction and depression) of adults. It aims to discover if companion animal owners have better social engagement and well-being than those who do not during mid- (55-64 years) and later (65+) adulthood, in addition to exploring the differences between the two age groups.

“We are excited to be able to look at how having a cat or dog impacts social engagement and mental health for middle-aged and older adults,” said Dr. Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, lead investigator and professor at the University of Missouri. “We believe that people who have a dog or cat will be less socially isolated, have lower depression, and higher life satisfaction compared to non-pet owners.”

The research team will analyze data from a recent national study, the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and utilize a novel approach in looking at those individuals who participated in an experimental human-animal interaction portion of the survey to provide a robust contribution to information on how companion animals can impact this demographic. The project is expected to be complete in one year.

“With 75 million baby boomers entering mid and later adulthood it is vital that we understand how everything, including pets, can improve their lives,” said HABRI Executive Director Steve Feldman. “With the results of this study in hand, potential pet owners will have new information about the benefits of bringing a pet into their lives, and health care providers could more frequently consider prescribing pets for older Americans in their care.”

About HABRI

The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; to date has funded more than half a million dollars in innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, visit www.habri.org.

About the University of Missouri

The University of Missouri offers more than 300 degree programs through 19 colleges and schools and is one of only five universities nationwide with law, medicine, veterinary medicine, and nuclear research reactor on one campus. Founded in 2005, the University of Missouri Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction operates as a dynamic collaboration between the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and College of Veterinary Medicine with a mission of education and conducting programs and studies about the benefits of human-animal interaction. For more information, visit www.rechai.missouri.edu.

Contact

Jamie Baxter

jamie@theimpetusagency.com

775.322.4022

###

Press Releases
Amazon Sponsors the Human Animal Bond Research Institute

The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) announced today that Amazon, a pet-friendly company and supplier of pet products, has become an official sponsor of HABRI and its research on the human health benefits of companion animals. “Amazon’s support for HABRI and human-animal bond research demonstrates its commitment to the values of great pet care and the importance of pets in our lives,” said Steven Feldman, Executive Director of HABRI. “Amazon helps make it easy for us to care for our pets and, in turn, our pets contribute to our health and wellness.” Amazon customers can explore popular pet products, enjoy pet care tips, and create a profile for their pet in order to receive personalized recommendations and coupons. In addition to offering customers a wide selection of pet food, treats, toys, tech and more, Amazon has been dog-friendly since Day 1 at its Seattle headquarters where employees share their workspace with as many as 6,000 pupazonians each day. Scientific evidence increasingly shows that pets improve humans’ heart health; alleviate depression; increase well-being; support child health and educational development; and contribute to healthy aging. New research also shows that pet-supportive workplaces boost employee attraction, engagement and retention. When employers support pet owners, employees are more likely to feel highly connected to their company’s mission, become more fully engaged with their work and are more willing to recommend their employer to others. Additionally, employees at pet friendly workplaces are 52% more likely to report a positive working relationship with their boss and 53% more likely to report a positive working relationship with their co-workers, compared to just 14% and 19% among those in non-pet friendly environments. “Science demonstrates that pet-inclusive work environments help boost morale and encourage a culture of healthy collaboration and teamwork,” Feldman added. “Amazon is a leading pet-friendly...

Press Releases
Pet Ownership Saves $11.7 Billion in Health Care Costs

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation today announced the findings of a new economic study on the healthcare cost savings associated with pet ownership. The economic analysis, conducted by two researchers from George Mason University, calculated an $11.7 billion savings in U.S. healthcare costs as a result of pet ownership. “There was abundant research to show that pets have a positive effect on our health, but this is the first time that anyone has looked at the impact on the U.S. healthcare system,” said study co-author Terry L. Clower, PhD Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs and Director of its Center on Regional Analysis. “Our analysis shows that pet ownership produces meaningful savings for total health care costs in the United States.” “Thinking about things that people should do to maintain their health, ‘get a pet’ belongs on that list,” said HABRI Executive Director, Steven Feldman. “When health insurance companies are looking at wellness incentives to keep costs down, pet ownership provides another way for people to stay healthy and save money.” The largest savings was determined based on a lower incidence of physician office visits by pet owners as compared to non-owners. According to the study, 132.8 million pet owners in the United States visit a doctor 0.6 times less than the average non-pet owners. The average cost of a physician office visit is $139. Pet owners, in this way, were responsible for saving $11.37 billion in U.S. healthcare costs. Additional savings were calculated for dog owners who walk their dog five or more times a week. This group, totaling more than 20 million people, shows a lower incidence of obesity, and were responsible for saving $419 million in related healthcare costs. While additional health benefits associated with pet ownership have been documented by scientific research, the economists...

Press Releases
New Research to Study Effects of Dogs on Children’s Stress

The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a $26,000 grant to Yale University for a new study, Interactions with Animals to Reduce Children’s Stress. The study will examine the effects of interactions with dogs on children dealing with stress and anxiety. “I am keenly interested in improving the quality of life among those who are experiencing stress, strains, and challenges of everyday functioning,” said the study’s primary researcher, Dr. Alan Kazdin, professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University, Ph.D, ABPP. “I am hoping to identify ways in which animal-child interaction can reduce stress and, furthermore, wish to understand precisely how that works, how the interaction can be optimized, and how it might translate to what’s being done in animal-assisted interventions and also in everyday life.” The two-year laboratory-based experiment on behalf of Yale University’s Department of Psychology will examine 73 children between the ages of 8 and 13 and randomly assign them support from a dog, support from an object, or no support. Researchers will then employ a series of tests and compare the stress levels in each group. “HABRI is committed to improving child health and development through the power of the human-animal bond,” said HABRI Executive Director Steve Feldman. “This study has the potential to provide necessary evidence on the specific benefits of human-animal interaction to children’s mental health.”

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!