Monday July 16, 2018

Feeling homesick? Go for Animal-assisted Therapy to lead a satisfactory Life!

The participants who took eight weeks of dog therapy experienced significant reductions in homesickness and a greater increase in satisfaction with life

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Dog Therapy. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • According to a research, Animal-assisted therapy may help first-year college students overcome homesickness and may help lower drop-out rates
  • The therapy includes 45-minute weekly sessions involving small group interactions with dogs and their handlers, and engagement with fellow students from the study
  • In a 2009 report conducted for B.C. Stats, 29 percent students who wanted to drop out, decided to stay

Toronto, Sept 09, 2016: Animal-assisted therapy can help first-year university students combat homesickness and could also be a useful tool in lowering drop-out rates, finds an interesting research.

Homesick students are three times more likely than those who manage their homesickness to disengage and drop out of university, the researchers said.

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“Transitioning from high school to university can prove to be a challenge for many first-year students,” said John Tyler Binfet, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Okanagan, Canada.

In the study, the participants who completed eight weeks of dog therapy experienced significant reductions in homesickness and a greater increase in satisfaction with life.

Participants reported that sessions “felt like they were at home chatting with friends who brought their puppies.”

But the non-treatment group reported an increase in their feelings of homesickness, the study said.

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Dog therapy included 45-minute weekly sessions involving small group interactions with dogs and handlers, and engagement with other first-year students participating in the study.

For the study, published in the journal Anthrozoos, 44 first year university students who self-identified as homesick were given a survey to measure levels of homesickness, satisfaction with life and connectedness with the campus.

Half of the students completed eight weeks of dog therapy, while the other half were informed that their sessions would begin in eight weeks’ time.

A total of 29 per cent of students who dropped out cited more interactions and friendships with other students as a factor that would have influenced their decision to stay longer, according to a 2009 report conducted for B.C. Stats — the statistics agency for British Columbia in Canada.

“Moving to a new city, I did not know anyone at the university and became very homesick and depressed. I was mainly secluded in my dorm room and did not feel like I belonged here. Coming to animal assisted therapy sessions every Friday gave me a sense of purpose and kept me enthusiastic about life,” stated Varenka Kim, a student at UBC Okanagan. (IANS)

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  • Manthra koliyer

    Dog therapies can be one the best ways to solve all the problems people face.

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Wow! Sounds interesting, as they say dogs can be our best friends.

Next Story

New Therapy Could Help Combat Drug Addiction

In their experiment, the researchers trained rats to press on a lever for cocaine infusions at certain light cues

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New Therapy Could Help Combat Drug Addiction
New Therapy Could Help Combat Drug Addiction. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a treatment that may help reverse chemical imbalances made to the brain by habitual drug use and could one day help recovering drug addicts avoid future drug use.

When tested on rats, the new treatment was effective in reducing the animals’ cravings, according to the findings published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

When someone habitually misuses drugs, their brain chemistry is changed in ways that make it harder for them to quit taking drugs despite negative consequences.

Once someone has developed this brain disorder, their mind pays sharper attention to cues that encourage drug use, making it harder for them to abstain.

Serotonin, a brain chemical that transmits information between neural regions, is a key player in these changes.

The researchers found that the serotonin 2C receptors in drug addicts do not work as well as they should.

drugs
Representational image. Pixabay

The team led by researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the US designed, synthesised and pharmacologically evaluated a series of small molecule therapeutics designed to restore the weakened signalling.

The findings showed that the novel therapeutic may help reverse chemical imbalances made to the brain by habitual drug use.

In their experiment, the researchers trained rats to press on a lever for cocaine infusions at certain light cues.

Once the rats learned this cocaine-seeking behaviour, half of them received the most promising therapeutic and the other half received only saline.

Also Read: HIV Drug Is Not Linked to Depression: Study

The findings showed that the animals treated with the new therapeutic pressed the lever for cocaine far fewer times than the saline-treated control animals, even when reinforced with the cocaine-associated light cues.

“We are the first to show that a serotonin 2C receptor therapeutic of this type can be successfully used to decrease drug-seeking behaviours,” said Kathryn Cunningham, Director of Center for Addiction Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

“Our findings are especially exciting because in addition to someday helping people to recover from drug addiction, impaired functioning of the serotonin 2C receptor is also thought to contribute to other chronic health issues such as depression, impulsivity disorders, obesity and schizophrenia,” Cunningham added. (IANS)