Therapy Dogs Help Struggling Veterans
Members of the United States military who serve abroad sometimes return to the U.S. to treat their injuries and must be transported by aeromedical evacuation between facilities. They are physically and emotionally wounded, and experiencing chronic and acute stress.
A study led by Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, PhD, RN, a researcher in Florida Atlantic University's Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, and collaborators, sought to test the feasibility and effectiveness of animal-assisted interventions to reduce stress in aeromedical staging facilities. For the study, they teamed up with a local not-for-profit animal organization that trains therapy dogs to visit health care facilities and other settings with a certified dog handler.
“Results from this cutting-edge, nurse-led study by Dr. Krause-Parello and her colleagues offer promising, significant contributions to the field and to the military to support care of wounded service members. The finding that the animal-assisted intervention significantly reduced stress levels in post-traumatic stress symptom severity is powerful, especially in light of high rates of PTSD, cost of treatment, and the related co-morbidities,” said Safiya George, PhD, RN, Dean of FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.
Click here for more information. A story was also published in U.S. News & World Report.