Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Occupational Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Occupational Therapy


This thesis is a qualitative study on how resident pets impacted the lives of residents in a nursing home. Through the hermeneutic process, ten participants were interviewed to determine their relationships with the animals. Five common themes emerged from this study; (a) the participants enjoyed the companionship of pets, (b) the participants found pleasure in feeding the pets, (c) the participants enjoyed petting the animals, (d) most of the participants were unable to care for the animals, and (e) a resident animal would be an important factor in choosing a new nursing home for these participants. This thesis supports the importance of using meaningful and purposeful activities in therapy as a means to promote function.


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