Pet and art therapy: instant relief?
Patients who are suffering from mental health issues such as depression or PTSD, or who are facing a chronic illness such as cancer, have traditionally employed pet therapy. People can express their sentiments and emotions via art therapy. Scientists are now testing a method for people with hearing loss that combines both types of therapy digitally.
Sankhya Jejurikar's health problems started in 2013, when physicians discovered an acoustic neuroma in her brain.
"It's a slow-growing tumor," says the doctor. It's benign, but it's on these three nerves," Jejurikar explained to Ivanhoe.
Jejurikar had surgery to remove the tumor last year, but she is still suffering the consequences.
"In my left ear, I've completely lost my hearing." "It's alienating and frustrating," Jejurikar expressed his feelings.
"As physicians, we're ready to prescribe antidepressants or say, 'OK, sure, yes, you're depressed.' Dr. Soma Sengupta, a neuro-oncologist at the University of Cincinnati, replied, "Here you go."
Instead, meet a fuzzy little fellow, who is the first half of scientific research on hearing loss patient well-being.
"Robotic pets allow us to enjoy connection without the hassle of feeding, caring for, or cleaning up after a pet," Claudia Rebola, a researcher and designer at the University of Cincinnati, explained.
The second section is about art.
"Art tends to lower people's defenses," said Meera Rastogi, an art therapist and psychologist at the University of Cincinnati.
"What if these modalities are combined and digitalized?" According to Sengupta.
The researchers created an app for self-guided art therapy. Patients practice their own art therapy for 12 weeks before answering questions regarding their mood.
Then half of the patients are given a robotic puppy to go home. The pets wear "smart collars," which contain sensors that track the frequency and duration of encounters. Researchers aim to see if incorporating dogs into art improves people's well-being.
The COVID outage, according to the researchers, reminded clinicians of the necessity of establishing ways for patients to receive healthcare remotely. According to Sengupta, art and robot pet therapy provide patients with the skills to take control of their mental health. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati have applied for funds to expand the study and maybe improve the robotic dogs' skills.