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New research shows that virtual dog comfort can benefit stressed students

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It may not be possible to teach old dogs new tricks, but new research shows that a novel way of visiting dogs directly to reduce stress can bring health benefits to students. ..

Christine Tardif-Williams, Associate Professor of Children and Youth at Brock University, and John-Tyler Binfet, Associate Professor of Okanagan at the University of British Columbia (UBC), are working with John-Tyler Binfet, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to determine if virtual time spent with animals is: Recently completed. It is effective in strengthening well-being, reducing negative effects, and increasing positive effects as a direct animal visit.

“Many studies have shown that animal and dog interventions are very effective in reducing student stress, reducing homesickness and loneliness, and increasing positive impact and social connectivity on campus. I know. Undergraduate“Tardif-Williams says.

After the pandemic, Tardif-Williams and Binfet, directors of building academic retention with UBC Okanagan’s K9s (BARK) program, began discussions on supporting student health in an online context.They were awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of the Canadian Insight Grant entitled “Undergraduates” Stress reduction Through the comfort of a virtual dog “to find out if a virtual visit is useful.

Their findings are shared in a new paper, Virtual Dog Comfort: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Dog-Assisted Interventions Supporting Undergraduate Happiness. Anthrozoös At the end of April.

This paper describes a study in which more than 460 students participated in live and synchronized or recorded and asynchronous virtual sessions between dogs and trainers.

The trainer followed a script asking about the stress of the participants’ lives while the students were effectively visiting with the dog. After the session, researchers measured stress, loneliness, and other well-being. Adverse effects..

The session lasted only 5 to 7 minutes, and the results showed that it was effective in reducing stress and improving well-being, whether synchronous or asynchronous.

“In a way, I think this is really fascinating. Young peopleFrom distance learning and distance education to people who aren’t seeking mental health services for a variety of reasons. ” Close relationship For the past 10 years, I have taught courses on companion animals in the lives of children and adolescents between adolescents and animals. “Dog and handlers can get people together to start a conversation about happiness, and I think it can reach many diverse students.”

Tardif-Williams emphasizes that the module is intended to be used as a first step towards perfection. Mental health service It is offered on campus, not as an alternative.

However, she believes that there is a lot of potential for ongoing research, as video is low cost, low barrier, and available online whenever students need it.

“Now, with the help of videographers and others on the research team, we’ve really fine-tuned asynchronous video to create a series of six videos,” says Tardif-Williams. “Approximately 250 participants from 41 countries watched these clips.”

Those who are interested in participating in the next stage of research are encouraged to visit Instagram @barkubc.. Participation takes only a few minutes to complete, supporting ongoing research into the stress-relieving effects of virtual dog sessions.


Are you a suffering student?Here’s how a therapy dog ​​can help:


For more information:
John-Tyler Binfet et al, Virtual Canine Comfort: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of the Canine-Assisted Intervention Supporting Undergraduate Wellbeing, Anthrozoös (2022). DOI: 10.1080 / 08927936.2022.2062866

Provided by
Brock University

Quote: According to a new study, virtual dog comfort may benefit stressed students (May 26, 2022).

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New research shows that virtual dog comfort can benefit stressed students

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