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Hello my name is Hatice and here is my tcard.
– PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs after exposure to a life-threatening event or
injury. It is estimated that more than 23 million veterans who experience clinically
significant PTSD symptoms per year vary by service era. Fewer than half of veterans in
need of PTSD treatment will actually receive clinical services through the Veterans
Administration. Therefore effective complementary and alternative strategies, outside of
traditional clinical structures, are needed for veterans with PTSD..
– Starting off with the p, the population i chose to use for this experiment are veterans and
to make it more specific, I decided that these veterans needed to have posttraumatic
stress disorder and must fit in the five year category of 60-65 years of age
– The intervention in this case is the dog assisted therapy which consists of walking,
petting, feeding, and playing fetch) and since we are not only observing but
administering a trial it is categorized as an intervention therefore we use an I as opposed
to E.
– The control group are those who do not receive the intervention although is part of the
same population
– For the outcome, i decided that the # of trauma related episodes would be a good option
of measurement as well as the ptsd checklist military version
– And finally for time, the duration of the trial would be 4 months consisting of 30 minute
sessions twice a week
– The hypothesis is that the group who receives the intervention will experience lower
amounts of the outcome so # of trauma related episodes.compared to the control group
– I decided that a Parallel randomized control trial would be conducted since there will be
a randomization in differences in the groups so only the intervention is the difference.
We want to see what the effect of the intervention is on our population and therefore
need to compare it to a control group which is available.
– The title of the study used was “Dog Ownership and Training Reduces Post-Traumatic
Stress Symptoms and Increases Self-Compassion Among Veterans: Results of a
Longitudinal Control Study”
– The study used a quasi-experimental design with two cohorts of Veterans—a dog trainer
intervention and a wait list control group. Participants completed baseline and 12-month
follow-up assessments. The recruitment pool included all veterans who enrolled in the
Dogs2Vets program from 2014 to 2017 which is a dog training program that engages
veterans in the training and care of a dog that they ultimately adopt . 60 participants
were enrolled in the study but 12 were omitted due to only completing baseline data
collection. 14 were wait list control participants, and 34 participants were assigned to an
intervention. There was no mention of gender, race, or location.
– Participants are eligible for the study if they are a veteran, ages 60-65, and have post
traumatic stress syndrome. Participants will be recruited from 2 veteran centers including
the sunnybrook veterans centre and tony stacey centre for veteran care, the intervention
will occur at the sunnybrook hospital and nurses who already take care of the veterans
will be accompanied by the councilors who are certified in animal assisted therapy.
There will be 100 participants with equal amounts of males and females. They will be
categorized using block randomization, where there will be 6 blocks composed of 3
female blocks and 3 male blocks with 1. Low ptsd score of 39% or below, 2. Medium
ptsd score of 40-69%, and 3. High ptsd score of 70% or higher using the ptsd checklist
military version consisting of 17 questions. These blocks will then be randomized into
two groups., the control and intervention group. Blinding does not apply since the
intervention is not something that can be concealed or hidden such as placebos.
– The intervention is a 4 month dog assisted therapy program consisting of 30 minute
sessions twice a week which includes activities such as walking, playing fetch, feeding,
and petting a dog. An important feature of animal companionship is that the animal is
largely dependent on the human for exercise, feeding, and grooming. This enables the
human to express nurturing and protective behaviors. Activities related to animal care
may therefore promote engagement with other individuals, responsibility, and selfefficacy. This in turn relates to behavioral activation, which has been shown to be an
effective treatment for depression in humans. The control group will also be treated for
their ptsd in a clinical setting as how they normally do. This will be a superiority trial to
see if the new intervention is better than the current one.
– The outcome will be measured using the PTSD Checklist-Military Version also known as
the (PCL-M). The PCL-M is a 17-item questionnaire in which respondents rate the
degree to which they have been bothered by military related posttraumatic stress
symptoms in the past month using a 5-point scale from 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely).
Participants would already have filled this questionnaire prior to starting the trial and will
then redo the questionaire to see if there was a decrease in frequency. ANother way of
measuring the outcome is the number of trauma related episodes. Both of these
methods are subjective although with the trauma related episodes it is a more
straightforward outcome measure.
– Confounder: Sex since females are twice as likely to develop ptsd. This sex difference in
PTSD prevalence is evident even when men and women experience the same type of
trauma. Equal amounts of female and males will be put into both groups through
– Confounder: interpersonal interactions between staff and veterans
– Confounder: severity of post traumatic stress disorder
– Confounder: Research suggests that a common coping response to PTSD among
veterans is excessive alcohol use although alcohol can increase some ptsd symptoms.
– For each confounder equal amounts of participants will be in each group.

Great for causality and can be used to compare if the intervention is better than the
previous intervention so is animal therapy better than current clinical therapy.
Information bias: surveillance bias since the intervention group may be watched more
closely as opposed to the control group.
Low external validity (low generalizability) since we are only looking at veterans whose
cause for ptsd is different from other causes of ptsd. Will this intervention work for all
ptsd patients?

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