Thursday, 20 May 2010

The latest issue of Anthrozoƶs: a multidiscplinary journal of the interactions between people and animals leads off with an article of mine on how people's experiences with human variants of diabetes inform their responses to canine and feline diabetes -- and vice-versa.

This paper extends the concept of illness prototypes, especially as articulated by the anthropologist Allan Young, to people's relationships with animals. The title is: "Prototypes Connect Human Diabetes with Feline and Canine Diabetes in the Context of Animal-Human Bonds: An Anthropological Analysis."

A video news release is currently available via the front page of one of the funders, Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (See "Fido can teach us a few tricks...Study recommends leveraging love of pets for better human health). A print news release that summarizes the main findings and key implications is also available from that site.

Monday, 17 May 2010

People's networks include pets -- a research opportunity

BMC Medical Research Methodology has published an article based on my positive experience in recruiting people who have treated their pet for diabetes. A single email led to just the sort of sample that I needed -- relatively small, but diverse. About half of those who ultimately participated didn't receive the email themselves, but heard about the study from a friend, neighbour or family member who had. As this and other studies have shown, people's social networks are partly shaped by pets. The title of the article is,"Harnessing Social Networks along with Consumer-Driven Electronic Communication Technologies to Identify and Engage Members of 'Hard-to-Reach' Populations: A Methodological Case Report." The full-text is available free of charge.