FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- A study to measure the effectiveness of animal assisted therapy using dogs is in the final stages at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center.
Researchers with the Army Baylor Doctor of Science in Occupational Therapy program have spent the past few months focused on improving re-integration of warriors in transition by studying the use of animal assisted therapy in an occupational therapy environment.
"If we can present a case with data as to the usefulness of dogs in elevating Soldiers' moods, building confidence and reducing stress that then translates into a better, quicker transition, that is very powerful," said Maj. Carol Haertlein Sells, primary investigator and professor with the Army Baylor Doctor of Science in Occupational Therapy Program.
The study was designed to augment the Warrior in Transition Advancement Program.
Warriors are enrolled in WINTAP as part of their occupational therapy and take a series of classes focused on further developing skills to manage stress and anger; build communication skills and relationships; maintain a healthy living environment and increase organization and time management. By augmenting the current occupational therapy life skills classes with dogs, researchers will be able to provide data that will possibly add to the current success with WINTAP.