Research started in 2011 was supposed to wrap up in 2015 but has repeatedly been stalled by problems with the study’s design and execution. And without hard scientific evidence that service dogs help veterans with PTSD, doctors are hesitant to recommend it.
The New York Times: Do Service Dogs Help Treat PTSD? After Years Of Research, The V.A. Still Doesn’t Know
While the V.A. covers the veterinary care and the equipment costs of service dogs for veterans with certain physical disabilities, like blindness or vision impairment, department leaders have long contended that there isn’t enough clinical evidence to prove their benefits for treating mental-health issues. “I would say there are a lot of heartwarming stories that service dogs help, but scientific basis for that claim is lacking,” Dr. Michael Fallon, the V.A.’s chief veterinarian, said during an interview with National Public Radio in 2017. “The V.A. is based on evidence-based medicine. We want people to use therapy that has proven value.” (Craven, 7/17)
In related news —
The Washington Post: Rural Retreats Offer Traumatized Veterans And Their Families Time And Therapy To Heal
The nonprofit, based in Granby, Colo., offers free six-day retreats in bucolic settings for veteran and military families. Participants take a wide range of classes, including on dealing with PTSD, managing household finances and communicating effectively. They also break for recreational activities like rock climbing and fishing. Since its founding in 2007, the nonprofit has hosted 180 retreats in seven states serving about 1,400 families. This month, it held its first retreat in Maryland, attended by the Rogerses and 10 other families. (Natanson, 7/16)
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Source : Kaiser Health