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This article is the author's final published version in Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice, Volume 5, Issue 2, Summer 2023, Pg. 40 - 50.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Psychiatric Research and Clinical Practice published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Psychiatric Association.



This qualitative research was conducted to add to the body of knowledge that supports the benefits of service dogs (SDs), as a tertiary treatment modality, to veterans with post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI).


This grounded theory research design utilized open‐ended, semi‐structured interviews with veterans (n = 10) who were using SDs as a treatment modality for PTSD and/or TBI. Transcripts were analyzed using NVivo qualitative software until data saturation was achieved.


Results from the data analysis identified 4 major themes with concurrent subthemes. The most prominent themes were functional status, impact of a SD, recognition of symptoms of PTSD and/or TBI by the SD, and barriers and challenges to the acquisition of a SD. Participants reported that the SD increased socialization and was a positive adjunct to treatment modalities for PTSD and/or TBI.


Our study highlights the benefits of using a SD as a tertiary treatment for PTSD and/or TBI in veterans. Veterans in our study articulated the benefits of using a SD as a tertiary treatment option, and the need to make this a standard treatment option for all veterans who suffer from PTSD and/or TBI.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.