Rush hospital’s visitor program only the latest development in pet therapy
by Kristin Callahan
Feb 21, 2013
Research going back more than four decades has shown that dogs, and other pets, are good for our health. Recognizing this, Rush University Medical Center just became what is believed to be the first Chicago-area hospital to formally allow pet visits in patients’ rooms. The use of pets in medical settings is becoming more common.
In the late 1970s, researchers started to discover the scientific elements of that bond and, shortly after, one of the first studies was published.
In the 1980 issue of Public Health Reports, Dr. Erika Friedmann, professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, found that heart attack patients who owned pets lived longer than those who did not.
After a one-year period, only 6 percent of the patients who owned at least one pet had died. But 28 percent of the patients who did not own a pet had died.