Efficacy of Service Dogs as a Viable Form of Assistive TechnologyBy Frost, Karen; Fitzgerald, Shirley; Collins, Diane; Sachs-Ericsson, Natalie, PhD; RESNA 2001: Annual Conference Proceedings, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 215-217
Publication Date: June 2001
Paper discussing a comprehensive questionnaire investigating differences in psychosocial and functional outcomes in wheelchair users who owned a service dog and those who did not. Research indicates that people with disabilities who use service dogs report improved psychological well-being, engage in more social interactions, and have more friends than people with disabilities who do not utilize a service dog. The participants in the study were at least 18 years old, and all used either a wheelchair or a scooter. Of the 84 participants, 43 utilized a service dog, and 41 did not. Results of the study indicated that the presence of a service dog improved the extent at which the participants felt enthusiastic and alert, and diminished their feelings of anger, guilt, and fear. The results indicated a modest improvement in self-esteem, and no difference was noted in the degree to which the participants perceived social support as a result of owning a service dog. The authors indicated that future studies should follow service dog recipients over time to determine long-term psychosocial and functional benefits of service dog ownership.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number O14199