Dr. Nancy Gee Featured in University Business

May 17, 2021

Dr. Nancy Gee was featured in the University Business article "Could Dog Therapy Be Key to Help Failing Students?". 


In a research study performed by Washington State (Patricia Pendry, Alexa Carr, and Jaymie Vandagriff) and VCU (Dr. Nancy Gee), they discovered the a full hour of time with a therapy dog may be more beneficial than the traditional stress management information session and stress management information:


Students who were not considered at risk showed no negative or positive responses from any of the therapies. But of the at-risk students, only those who worked with dogs for the hour showed any improvement in executive functioning and it was significant. They studied subjects both immediate after the program ended and six weeks later. Study authors noted, too, that other therapies may be counterproductive.


“Our findings suggest that engagement with programs that focused on stress management information and activities were not as effective in improving executive functioning for the at-risk population,” Pendry said. “The presentations focusing on the role of stress in shaping academic challenges may have inadvertently increased tension in at-risk students and raised their anxiety and stress, which can interfere with optimal thinking, concentration, planning, and motivation.”


To read the complete article, click here


Dogs On Call therapy dog Houdi, an Australian Shepherd with a black, tan and white coat, has his front paws resting on a chair with a patient who is smiling and rubbing Houdi's chest. Houdi is smiling.