The impact of owning a guide dog on the quality of life of individuals with a visual impairment: a longitudinal study

McIver, Sara, Hall, Sophie and Mills, Daniel (2020) The impact of owning a guide dog on the quality of life of individuals with a visual impairment: a longitudinal study. Anthrozoös, 33 (1). pp. 103-117. ISSN 1753-0377

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2020.1694315

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The impact of owning a guide dog on the quality of life of individuals with a visual impairment: a longitudinal study
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Abstract

Quality of life (QOL) is generally understood to be an individual’s subjective view of how 24 they feel about different aspects and experiences in their life. Previous studies have reported 25 many positive benefits of owning assistance dogs on their owners’ lives, but these have been 26 largely cross-sectional studies and QOL has not been considered in guide dog owners. A 27 longitudinal cohort study was undertaken using the Flanagan quality of life questionnaire to 28 compare individuals on the UK guide dog national waiting list and established guide dog 29 owners at two time points. Data collected from both time points were compared between 30 three groups: those who remained on the waiting list throughout the study (n = 17), those who 31 acquired a guide dog during the study (n = 15) and established guide dog owners (n = 14). 32 Analysis comparing the effect of ‘group’ was conducted on individual questionnaire items as 33 well as total quality of life score. Individuals who acquired a guide dog during the study 34 showed a significant increase in perceptions of independence in comparison to those who 35 remained on the waiting list. In general, those in the established guide dog group and those 36 who acquired a guide dog demonstrated increased perceived QOL over time, but those who 37 remained on the waiting list showed a decrease. Effect size was highest on items relating to 38 health, material comforts, independence and total QOL. Comparison with previous research 39 looking at QOL with hearing dog and physical assistance dog partners showed that guide dog 40 ownership may be specifically associated with perceived gains in terms of material comforts 41 and inter-personal relationships.

Keywords:Quality of life, Assistance dogs, Guide dog
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D390 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:41721
Deposited On:17 Aug 2020 13:07

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