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There are few interventions that present opportunities to engage in meaningful occupation (Kashiwa et al., 2017) to help Veterans reintegrate into the civilian lifestyle that create a desire to participate and attend therapy (Goetteret al., 2015).

The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of training service dogs as an occupation and means of social support for combat Veterans living with PTSD with the following objectives:

  • explore an occupation basedintervention that addresses low retention rates in occupational therapy.
  • teach coping mechanisms and provide social support as a by-product to training service dogs in order to assist in reintegration into the civilian lifestyle.
  • decrease symptoms of PTSD experienced in everyday life through increased purpose and quality of life.

Publication Date

Summer 8-19-2020


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


San Marcos, CA

Medical Subject Headings

Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Occupational Therapy, Veterans, Animal Assisted Therapy, Dogs, Quality of Life


Occupational Therapy | Other Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychiatry and Psychology


Poster presented at the Summer 2020 Campus Research Day on the San Marcos, CA, campus of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on August 19, 2020.

The Occupation of Training Service Dogs: A Therapeutic Intervention for Combat Veterans with PTSD