Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 289–291 | Cite as

Complementary Medicine in Cancer Care: Adding a Therapy Dog to the Team

Invited Commentary


Animal-assisted therapy, including visits from certified therapy dogs, offer a valuable and often underutilized resource for addressing unmet needs in cancer patients. Prospective research studies have documented symptomatic benefits for reducing pain, psychological distress, and fatigue in a variety of patient populations, including cancer patients. Utilizing consistent policies minimizes patient risk and infection control concerns associated with animal visits.


Animal-assisted therapy Anxiety Clostridium difficile Isolation Loneliness Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Pain 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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