Science in Seconds: Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, Ph.D.

Science in Seconds: Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, Ph.D.

Canines Helping Veterans

Every day, about 20 military veterans in the U.S. die by suicide — more than are lost daily in combat, according to data from the Department of Veteran Affairs. To address this issue and advance the health and well-being of members of the armed forces, in 2013, Cheryl A. Krause-Parello, Ph.D., developed a health research initiative for veterans, Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (CPAWW), which investigates protective factors for suicide and helps to improve the understanding of palliative effects of animal-assisted interventions in the military and for veterans.

CPAWW’s research supports that biopsychosocial stress is reduced in military and veterans when they are interacting with a dog, such as a service dog, emotional support dog, therapy dog or companion dog, according to Krause-Parello, interim associate vice president, Florida Atlantic’s Division of Research, associate executive director and faculty fellow, Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention. She also holds a secondary appointment as a professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.

One of Krause-Parello’s goals is to provide evidence to support changes in public policy so that service dogs are covered as a reimbursable medical expense for those recovering from conditions, like post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Our troops have already sacrificed so much: It’s time to give back and make sure they have the best restorative care to allow them to thrive at home; and we are doing just that with CPAWW, ” Krause-Parello said.

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