Venue

Campus Center - Rice

Major

Anthrozoology

Field of Study

Anthrozoology & Psychology

Abstract

Since 2001, 2.7 million service members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan (Brown University, 2015). Approximately 11%-20% of veterans return home and are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Powderhouse, 2017). With a large population suffering from PTSD, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is battling the necessity to provide coping mechanisms for veterans in need. Treatments include Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and medication. But these treatments are not “one size fits all.” In other words, some veterans are struggling to cope with PTSD regardless of their treatment. Because of this, the VA is restarting previous research to examine the effect of service dogs for veterans with PTSD. Researchers have hypothesized that health improves when a veteran receives a service dog (Operation Service, 2017). Results from various studies now have quantitative and qualitative data to support better physical and mental health, improved social and work skills, as well as less depression. Service dogs are becoming a complementary treatment for veterans (O’Haire, 2018). Our systematic review analyzed comprehensive studies, completed by the VA and other researchers, on veterans with PTSD receiving a service dog to determine if a service dog is a reliable coping mechanism.

Start Date

25-4-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

25-4-2019 10:30 AM

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Apr 25th, 10:15 AM Apr 25th, 10:30 AM

Service dogs and veterans: A systematic review

Campus Center - Rice

Since 2001, 2.7 million service members have served in Iraq and Afghanistan (Brown University, 2015). Approximately 11%-20% of veterans return home and are diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Powderhouse, 2017). With a large population suffering from PTSD, the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is battling the necessity to provide coping mechanisms for veterans in need. Treatments include Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and medication. But these treatments are not “one size fits all.” In other words, some veterans are struggling to cope with PTSD regardless of their treatment. Because of this, the VA is restarting previous research to examine the effect of service dogs for veterans with PTSD. Researchers have hypothesized that health improves when a veteran receives a service dog (Operation Service, 2017). Results from various studies now have quantitative and qualitative data to support better physical and mental health, improved social and work skills, as well as less depression. Service dogs are becoming a complementary treatment for veterans (O’Haire, 2018). Our systematic review analyzed comprehensive studies, completed by the VA and other researchers, on veterans with PTSD receiving a service dog to determine if a service dog is a reliable coping mechanism.