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US Army Med Dep J. 2012 Apr-Jun:63-9.

Service dog training program for treatment of posttraumatic stress in service members.

Author information

1
Warrior Canine Connection, Inc, Brookeville, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

In July 2008, social worker and certified service dog trainer Rick Yount created the first Warrior dog-training program designed to be a safe, effective, nonpharmaceutical intervention to treat the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury in Veterans and service members undergoing treatment at a large Veterans Administration residential treatment facility. In 2009, Yount was asked to establish the program at a prominent Department of Defense medical center. In October 2010, Yount was invited to create a service dog training program to support the research and treatment mission at the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), in Bethesda, Maryland. This program, now being offered through the nonprofit foundation Warrior Canine Connection, continues to produce anecdotal evidence that training service dogs reduces the PTSD symptoms of Warrior-trainers and that the presence of the dogs enhances the sense of wellness in the NICoE staff and the families of our Wounded Warriors. Under the research leadership of the NICoE, the Warrior Canine Connection research team plans to systematically investigate the physiological, psychological, and behavioral benefits of this program.

PMID:
22388685
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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