The Impact of Service Dogs in the Lives of Veterans Who Problematically Use Opioids
AUDEAMUS (a bilingual, injured veteran-run, not for profit organization dedicated to the principle and practice of providing highly skilled and effective certified service dogs to persons traumatized in the line of duty and whose quality of life depend on it); Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse; Department of Sociology, School of Public Health, Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan; Faculty of Social Work, Anxiety and Illness Behaviours Laboratory, Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety, University of Regina; Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology that Enables, British Columbia Institute of Technology; Faculty of Aging, McMaster University; and consultants.


Funded by Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM).
SCPOR (SK Centre for Patient-Oriented Research) Designated Project.

The goal of this study is to learn from veterans living with PTSD and paired with an AUDEAMUS Inc. service dog about how the dog assists them with addressing their problematic use of substances, specifically opiates.*  The study examines the impact of both the therapeutic intervention tasks the service dogs are trained in (e.g., tactile stimulation to disrupt emotional overload) and the human-animal bond (bio-psycho-social-spiritual connection) to address veterans’ PTSD and its relation to their mental health and wellness, and specifically problematic substance use focused on opioids. It will also examine AUDEAMUS program outcomes. The research question is: Does an AUDEAMUS service dog assist veterans with PTSD in addressing their problematic substance use, and specifically opiates? And if so, how, accounting for both the tasks the dogs perform and their connection with the veteran?

 *AUDEAMUS is a bilingual, injured veteran-run, not for profit organization dedicated to the principle and practice of providing highly skilled and certified service dogs to persons traumatized in the line of duty and whose quality of life depends on it. 

 

 

Brighter Days and Calmer Nights: The Impact of Service Dogs in the Lives of Veterans Who Problematically Use Substances
AUDEAMUS; Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction; Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan


Funded by Office of the Research Chair in One Health & Wellness.
University of Saskatchewan
SCPOR (SK Centre for Patient-Oriented Research) Designated Project.

The goal of this pilot project is to develop a summary case timeline for four veterans, with each tallying their prescription histories. This will include, for example, medications prescribed and changes in dosage. A review of the compiled timeline with the veteran will allow for plotting the introduction of the service dog, self-reported substance use and misuse (both licit and illicit) (increase and/or decrease) and any other significant life events (e.g., divorce) that may impact their prescription histories.

 

 

 

Impacts of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program on the Wellbeing of Older Adults in a Saskatchewan Veterans Affairs Canada Residence
St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program (National, Saskatchewan); Department of Sociology, McMaster University; Department of Sociology, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan; Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina

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Funded by Veterans Affairs Canada

Current practices do not to meet the physical and mental health needs of older adult war veterans. Increasingly, animal-assisted interventions are being identified as having the potential to be beneficial to this population. To explore this, the current study was informed by a One Health framework and measured the health outcomes of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program on older adults at a Saskatchewan Veterans Affairs Canada residence. It was found that the therapy dogs had a role in memory recollection and reminiscence among veterans, positive mental and physical health impacts resulting from the therapy dog visits, and overwhelming support and love veterans perceived from the therapy dog and therapy dog handlers. See here for visual findings.