BROOKSVILLE, Fla., Nov. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A report from University of Central Florida's School of Social Work confirms the benefits of the K9 Partners for Patriots service dog training program for veterans with PTSD. The study showed "statistically significant improvement" in all 12 symptoms examined.
Prepared by James Whitworth, PhD, LCSW, the findings represent critical empirical data that may help federal & state agencies make service dogs more accessible for veterans with PTSD.
In the recent study, 43 veterans in the K9 Partners for Patriots program were surveyed before and after the program using the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI-2) clinical scales.
95% reported decreased anxiety symptoms
95% reported decreased depression
93% reported decreased anger/irritability
91% reported decreased flashback, nightmares
65% reported decreased suicidal ideation
95% reported decreased insecurities regarding close relationships with others
"The results substantiate the significant benefits of this program," says Whitworth. "Participants describe in their own words how training and having a service dog is greatly helping them to get better. Most notably, veterans are more willing to start and complete this program for their PTSD compared to standard, office-based trauma treatments such as prolonged exposure and cognitive processing therapy."
Additionally, Whitworth's report concluded that "these results highlight the significant personal and social benefits described by veterans dealing with PTSD who participated in this program."
"The data confirms the progress our trainers and the rest of us see with our veterans day after day, and week after week," said K9 Partners for Patriots CEO Ron Flaville, who was also the first veteran to go through the program.
He added, "Service dogs are a proven therapy. The Purdue report last year showed that and this UCF study now shows it again. We hope this report helps the VA and FDVA (Florida Dept. of Veteran Affairs) move forward to make more service dogs accessible to veterans with PTSD."
UCF: Founded in 1963 with a commitment to expanding opportunity and demanding excellence, the University of Central Florida develops the talent needed to advance the prosperity and welfare of our society. With more than 68,000 students, UCF is one of the nation's largest universities, offering more than 220 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations in Central Florida and online. For more information, visit ucf.edu.
K9 Partners for Patriotshttps://k9partnersforpatriots.com is a nonprofit 501c3 organization based in Brooksville, FL. Its mission is to give veterans and active military a second chance at life by empowering those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) through the experience of training and caring for their own service dog.