OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of partnerships between people with disabilities and service dogs on functional performance and social interaction.
METHOD. A single-subject, alternating treatment design was used. The participants were 3 women with mobility challenges who owned service dogs. For each participant, time and perceived amount of effort for two tasks were measured for functional performance. Interaction and satisfaction levels were measured for social interactions.
RESULTS. Primary findings were that service dog partnerships decreased performance time for four of the six tasks, decreased effort for five of the six tasks, increased social interactions for 2 of the participants, and increased levels of satisfaction with social interactions for all participants.
CONCLUSION. For adult women with mobility challenges, service dog partnerships may contribute to energy conservation through decreased time and effort required to complete some tasks and may increase social interactions.