Effects of Assistance Dogs on Assistive Device Use

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Stephanie G. Martin, BS, Shirley G. Fitzgerald, PhD, Diane M. Collins, PhD, OTR/L,
Amanda Reinsfelder, BS, Annmarie Kelleher, MS, OTR/L, ATP

University of Pittsburgh , Dept. Rehabilitation Science and Technology
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System


It is not uncommon for an individual to abandon a piece of assistive technology. This cross-sectional study consisted of a sample of 63 assistance dog owners, which include wheelchair service dogs and hearing dogs, who were compared to 47 individuals with similar characteristics but without assistance dogs. Devices recently abandoned were examined between both groups, and devices that aided in activities of daily living were discarded by those with assistance dogs more often than other types of assistive devices.

 Keywords: assistance dogs, wheelchair service dogs, hearing dogs, abandonment


Stephanie G. Martin, BS
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
7180 Highland Dr., 151R-1
Pittsburgh, PA 15206