One Health clinic promotes veterinarian-client trust among underserved pet owners and provides learning opportunities for veterinary students

Lauren Powell School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

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 PhD
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Meriel Walsh School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

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 VMD
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Chelsea L Reinhard School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

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 DVM, MPH
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Kristin Jankowski Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis, Davis CA

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Brittany Watson School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

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 VMD, PhD

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the impact of a free One Health clinic with human and veterinary services on the veterinary-client relationship for underserved pet owners. A secondary aim was to understand the experience of veterinary students and volunteers who participated in the clinic.

SAMPLE

78 pet owners, 55 students and 32 volunteers who attended the Delaware Humane Association One Health Clinic between December 2018 and November 2019.

PROCEDURES

Pet owners completed an anonymous questionnaire prior to and following their veterinary appointment regarding their trust in the veterinary profession, feelings of enablement and veterinarian-client concordance. Students and volunteers completed a questionnaire within 72 hours of clinic participation about their perceptions of the educational value of the clinic.

RESULTS

Following the One Health clinic, client trust in the veterinary profession increased significantly (t = –5.50, P < 0.001). Clients also reported high levels of enablement and veterinarian-client concordance. Students and volunteers agreed the clinic was a valuable educational experience (97.7%) and reported increased compassion, enhanced leadership, communication and teamwork skills, and an improved ability to identify social issues and think critically.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The results support the utilization of One Health clinics to improve access to veterinary care for underserved pet owners. Clients reported high levels of trust, enablement and concordance following the clinic which could have long-lasting effects on their willingness to seek veterinary care and comply with veterinarians’ recommendations. The positive experiences of students and volunteers also highlights the potential of low-cost veterinary clinics as unique educational experiences.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the impact of a free One Health clinic with human and veterinary services on the veterinary-client relationship for underserved pet owners. A secondary aim was to understand the experience of veterinary students and volunteers who participated in the clinic.

SAMPLE

78 pet owners, 55 students and 32 volunteers who attended the Delaware Humane Association One Health Clinic between December 2018 and November 2019.

PROCEDURES

Pet owners completed an anonymous questionnaire prior to and following their veterinary appointment regarding their trust in the veterinary profession, feelings of enablement and veterinarian-client concordance. Students and volunteers completed a questionnaire within 72 hours of clinic participation about their perceptions of the educational value of the clinic.

RESULTS

Following the One Health clinic, client trust in the veterinary profession increased significantly (t = –5.50, P < 0.001). Clients also reported high levels of enablement and veterinarian-client concordance. Students and volunteers agreed the clinic was a valuable educational experience (97.7%) and reported increased compassion, enhanced leadership, communication and teamwork skills, and an improved ability to identify social issues and think critically.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The results support the utilization of One Health clinics to improve access to veterinary care for underserved pet owners. Clients reported high levels of trust, enablement and concordance following the clinic which could have long-lasting effects on their willingness to seek veterinary care and comply with veterinarians’ recommendations. The positive experiences of students and volunteers also highlights the potential of low-cost veterinary clinics as unique educational experiences.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 84 KB)
    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 665 KB)
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