PRIDE 2019!

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PRIDE 2019- SAVE THE DATE 9th October 2019 held at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice!


PRIDE is back for the third year running and we are now accepting submissions! The form will be available via our website shortly however in the meantime please email for a submission form.

For those of you who are not familiar with PRIDE it is an annual event run by WMCARES aiming to showcase innovative and exciting projects within the field of Palliative and Supportive Care.

This event provides an opportunity to share best practice, enable research readiness and showcase involvement in research and other projects undertaken by our supportive and palliative care communities in the West Midlands.

As well as being an excellent opportunity to network and gain insight into the latest developments it is a day laden with educational value.


PRIDE 2019- SAVE THE DATE 9th October 2019 held at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice!

Should we Prescribe Dogs?

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Should we prescribe dogs?

I was recently at the palliative registrar teaching day and the humdrum of a psychologist was 3rd wave washing through me, when there was the off-the-cuff comment about a Cocker Spaniel. Now the for-mentioned doggy was owned by Miss Ol’ Diddy and the moral was Woofy kept her active, psychologically well and basically alive with good QOL.

Has anyone looked at this? We after all prescribe the bizarrity of evidence based hand-held fans, why not our canine friends?

Well, with kids in bed, I made a coffee, sat at my desk, looked out to the full moon and howled at Athens.

And Yes! There is a surprising amount. As reported just this July 2017 it helps physical activity (In Norfolk anyway) (1) Albeit note the caveat of poor weather! Dogs make you happy, as every PHD in psychology will tell you (2), they support the elderly (3), act as companions (4), are catalysts for social interaction (5), make you have something to talk about (6), makes you more likable (7), and best of all make you have better health overall (8,9).

I love the hand-held fan, but there is more evidence here than most of palliative care practice alone! However, in the search for palliative research and dogs all I got was a comparative kinematic gait analysis of Beagle dogs (10).

Would prescribing dogs help QOL scores in patients fulfilling the Gold Standards Framework? Could they act as holistic symptom control bundles of fur? I propose at diagnosis of cancer, a RCT of Labrador or no, (maybe a 3rd arm of a hamster) and measure. Any ideas?

German Shepherd PRN



  1. Wu Y, Luben R, Jones A Dog ownership supports the maintenance of physical activity during poor weather in older English adults: cross-sectional results from the EPIC Norfolk cohort J Epidemiol Community Health  Published Online First: 24 July 2017. doi:10.1136/jech-2017-208987
  2. Friedmann, E. (1995). The role of pets in enhancing human well-being: Physiological effects. In I. Robinson (Ed.), The Waltham book of human-animal interactions: Benefits and responsibilities (pp. 33-53). Oxford, UK: Pergamon
  3. Garrity, T.F., Stallones, L., Marx, M.B., & Johnson, T.P. (1989). Pet ownership and attachment as supportive factors in the health of the elderly. Anthrozoos, 3, 35-44
  4. Hart, L.A. (1995). Dogs as human companions: A review of the relationship . In J. A. Serpell (Ed.), The domestic dog: Its evolution, behavior and interactions with people (pp. 162-178). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press.
  5. McNicholas, J., & Collis, G.M. (2000). Dogs as catalysts for social interactions: Robustness of the effect. British Journal of Psychology, 91, 61-70.
  6. Rogers, J., Hart, L.A., & Boltz, R.P. (1993). The role of pet dogs in casual conversations of elderly adults. Journal of Social Psychology, 133, 265-278.
  7. Rossbach, K.A., & Wilson, J.P. (1992). Does a dog’s presence make a person appear more likeable? Anthrozoos, 5, 40-51.
  8. Headey, B. (1998, November). Do pet owners enjoy better health? Results from the German Soci-Economic Panel. Paper presented at the Animals, Community Health and Public Policy Symposium, Sydney.
  9. Wells, D.L. (2007). Domestic dogs and human health: An overview. British Journal of Health Psychology, 12, 145-156.
  10. Comparative kinematic gait analysis in young and old Beagle dogs. Author(s) Lorke M; Willen M; Lucas K; Beyerbach M; Wefstaedt P; Murua Escobar H; Nolte Source Journal of veterinary science;