Service Dogs Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Veterans, Study Finds

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A new study by the University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine reveals that service dogs can significantly reduce PTSD symptoms in veterans. The research, published in JAMA Network Open, found veterans paired with service dogs experienced lower PTSD symptom severity, anxiety, and depression, along with a higher quality of life, compared to those on a waiting list for a service dog. Patricia Wu and Jessica Reyes discuss the study’s findings with Jojo Venant.

Demographics of the study

The study involved 156 veterans, with 81 receiving service dogs and the rest remaining on a waiting list. Participants’ well-being was measured at the start of the study and after three months. The results showed a 66% lower likelihood of a PTSD diagnosis for veterans working with service dogs after three months.

What is the long-term impact?

Lead study author Sarah Leighton emphasized the need for more research to understand the long-term impact and how service dogs interact with other PTSD treatments. The team has received funding for a new study to investigate how service dogs can enhance the effectiveness of prolonged exposure therapy, a gold-standard treatment for PTSD.

Hope for veterans

This research offers hope for veterans struggling with PTSD, highlighting the potential of service dogs as a complementary therapy to improve their mental health and well-being.

To learn more about Jojo Venant, visit her website and connect with her on Instagram.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team
At the heart of MHTN - America's pioneering 24/7 Mental Health TV Network - is our editorial team, a dynamic group of professionals united by a shared commitment to transforming the conversation around mental health. Our team is composed of seasoned journalists, mental health experts, researchers, and storytellers, each bringing a wealth of experience and a passion for advocacy.

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