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Use of a Dog Visitation Program to Improve Patient Satisfaction in Trauma Patients

Stevens, Penelope DNP, RN, CPNP-AC; Kepros, John P. MD, MBA; Mosher, Benjamin D. MD

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000272

Clinical staff members all recognize the importance of attaining high patient satisfaction scores. Although there are many variables that contribute to patient satisfaction, implementation of a dog visitation program has been shown to have positive effects on patient satisfaction in total joint replacement patients. This innovative practice had not previously been studied in trauma patients. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine whether dog visitation to trauma inpatients increased patient satisfaction scores with the trauma physicians. A team consisting of a dog and handler visited 150 inpatients on the trauma service. Patient satisfaction was measured using a preexisting internal tool for patients who had received dog visitation and compared with other trauma patients who had not received a visit. This study demonstrated that patient satisfaction on four of the five measured scores was more positive for the patients who had received a dog visit.

Sparrow Health System (Drs Stevens, Kepros, and Mosher), Michigan State University (Drs Kepros and Mosher), Lansing.

Correspondence: Penelope Stevens, DNP, RN, CPNP-AC, Sparrow Health System, 1215 East Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48909 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.