Allyson Miles

ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Noelle Fields


Objective: This review aims to assess the extent of the literature on robotic pet use among older adults receivinghospice or palliative care. Introduction: In 2015, in the U.S, an estimated 1,426,00 individuals received hospice; among this population, 94.6% were aged 65 or older (National Center for Health Statistics,2019). According to the literature, a social robot is defined as something that interacts with individuals socio-emotionally during the intervention (Hudson et al., 2020). Social robots, including robotic pets, are promising technological interventions that can benefit the psychosocial health of older adults and people with dementia. Although there are previous reviews on robotic pet use among older adults living with dementia, none have considered how robotic pet use may benefit older adults enrolled in hospice, receiving palliative care or the perception older adults have of using robotic pets. Inclusion criteria: 1) peer-reviewed scholarship; 2) studies published in English before May 1, 2022; and 3) includedolder adults ages 65 and older who are receiving hospice or palliative care. Methods: The Arksey & O’Malley (2005) framework guidedthe scoping review. Databases included: Web of Science, CINAHL Complete, AgeLine, APA PsycInfo, Health Source -Consumer Edition, MEDLINE Social Work Abstracts, and IEEE Xplore. The data wassummarized using Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses extension for scoping review (PRISMA-ScR) flow diagram. Results:A total of 2 studies were included in the review. This review identified significant gapsin the literature related to the use of robotic pets among older adults receiving hospice or palliative care. The review identified that robotic pets may decrease terminal restlessness, depression, and lonelinessamong persons receiving hospice or palliative care. The review also identified that robotic pets can positively impact mood and social connection and reduce the need for pharmacological therapy. However, some concerns were identified including ethical considerations and negative perceptionsof the robotic pet by the older adult and the caregiver. Conclusion: Overall, the findings show a need for further research on robotic pet use among older adults receiving hospice or palliative care. The results uncovered among the limiteddata suggest thepotentialeffectiveness of robotic pet use among older adults receiving hospice or receiving palliative care. However, the perception of the robotic pet among older adults and caregivers influence its effectiveness. Moving forward, studies should focus on the physical and psychosocial benefits for older adults receiving hospice or palliative care using robotic pets. Finally, further education for caregivers, professional caregivers, and older adults about the potential therapeutic benefitsof the robotic petsshould also be considered for future studies.Keywords: 65 and older; Hospice; Palliative Care; Older Adults; Robotic Pet(s)


65 and older, Hospice, Palliative care, Older adults, Robotic pet(s)


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024

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