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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To estimate the prevalence of perceived stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, resilience, and suicidal ideation among Canadian veterinarians and compare results with those for other populations.

SAMPLE

1,403 veterinarians across Canada.

PROCEDURES

The study represented a cross-sectional online survey. The questionnaire incorporated validated psychometric instruments to measure perceived stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, compassion fatigue, and resilience as well as questions regarding suicidal ideation. Means and relative proportions in categories of severity were compared between genders as well as with normative data for the general population and results for veterinarians in the United Kingdom.

RESULTS

Approximately 10% of Canadian veterinarians (n = 1,403) completed the survey. Relative to the general population, survey participants had significantly higher mean scores for subscales of burnout and compassion fatigue, anxiety, and depression and significantly lower mean resilience. Relative to males, females had significantly higher mean scores for perceived stress, emotional exhaustion, burnout, secondary traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression and significantly lower mean resilience. Participants also had higher mean scores for anxiety and depression relative to results for United Kingdom veterinarians. The 12-month prevalence of suicidal ideation for participants was 26.2%, which was substantially higher than the estimated prevalence for the general international population (2.1% to 10.0%).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that the mental health of Canadian veterinarians was poor, compared with the mental health of the general population. These results should serve as a call to action for tools and educational programs directed at supporting veterinarian mental wellness in Canada, with special attention paid to the disparate needs of the genders.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine the effect of 3 diet history questions on the amount and type of diet-related information gathered from pet owners and to assess whether diet-related information obtained with each question in person differed from information obtained with a diet history survey.

SAMPLE

99 pet owners.

PROCEDURES

Participants' responses to 1 of 3 randomly selected diet history questions (“Tell me everything he [or she] eats throughout a day, starting first thing in the morning right through to the end of the day”; “What kind of food does she [or he] eat?”; or “What kind of foods does he [or she] eat?”) were recorded and coded for analysis. Participants completed a postinteraction diet history survey. Amount and type of diet-related information obtained were compared among responses to the 3 diet history questions and between the response to each question and the diet history survey.

RESULTS

The “Tell me…” question elicited a significantly higher total number of diet-related items (combined number of main diet, treat, human food, medication, and dietary supplement items) than did the “What kind of food…” or “What kind of foods…” questions. The diet history survey captured significantly more information than did the “What kind of food…” or “What kind of foods…” questions; there was little difference between results of the diet history survey and the “Tell me…” question, except that treats were more frequently disclosed on the survey.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings reinforced the value of using broad, open questions or requests that invite expansion from clients for gathering diet-related information.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To explore referring equine veterinarians' expectations of equine veterinary referral centers and specialists.

DESIGN Qualitative, focus group interview–based study.

SAMPLE 6 focus groups comprised of equine practitioners with experience in referral of clients and patients to equine specialists or referral centers (48 referring veterinarians [rDVMs]).

PROCEDURES Focus group sessions were conducted independently and followed a standardized discussion guide consisting of open-ended questions and follow-up probes. Discussions were recorded, and thematic analysis was performed on the content.

RESULTS The overarching theme of participants' discussions was that specialists and referral centers are an extension of the care that rDVMs provide to their clients and patients. The 5 areas that participants described as important to this expectation were rDVM-client relationships, rDVM involvement during referral care, collegial rDVM-specialist relationships, communication between rDVMs and specialists, and the boundaries of referral care. Participating practitioners wanted to be involved during the referral process, which was seen as being facilitated by having a collegial relationship with the specialist and through effective communication during the course of referral care.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Relationships and communications between rDVMs and specialists are important aspects of equine veterinary medicine. Both rDVMs and specialists are likely to benefit from pursuing opportunities to further their relationship by using up-front communication to establish clear role expectations and clear processes for sharing information.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Nutrition is important in preventing and managing disease. Veterinarians are an important source of nutrition information; however, nutrition communication between veterinarians and pet owners is relatively infrequent. The purpose of this study was to conduct a qualitative review of barriers to nutrition communication and possible solutions, reported by small animal veterinarians.

SAMPLE

18 veterinarians from Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia.

METHODS

In a qualitative focus group study, 5 virtual focus groups using the Zoom platform were conducted from February 3, 2021, to April 2, 2021. Each focus group was audio recorded, and transcripts were created using Otter.ai software. Transcripts were analyzed in Atlas.ti qualitative data analysis software using a hybrid of inductive and deductive thematic analysis.

RESULTS

The 4 barriers to nutrition communication identified by veterinarians were as follows: (1) time, (2) misinformation and information overload, (3) pet owners’ apprehension toward new information, and (4) veterinarians’ confidence in nutrition knowledge and communication skills. Potential solutions include (1) improving communication and nutrition education, (2) improving and increasing access to client-friendly resources, and (3) empowering credentialed veterinary technicians and support staff to discuss nutrition.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

This study provides guidance for how to focus efforts to break down barriers to nutrition communication in small animal veterinary practice.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To examine the prevalence and context of one-health conversations between veterinarians and clients in companion animal practice.

SAMPLE

A random selection of 60 companion animal veterinarians; a convenience sample of 917 interactions from Southern Ontario, Canada. Of these, 100 audio-video–recorded interactions including 47 of 60 veterinarians were randomly selected for inclusion in this study.

METHODS

Audio-video recordings were made of veterinarian-client-patient interactions between November 2017 and January 2019. A researcher-generated coding framework was developed and used to assess the prevalence and content of one-health topics communicated during veterinary appointments.

RESULTS

Of the interactions assessed, 60 were preventive care and 40 were health problem appointments. Further, 78% (78/100) included at least 1 discussion related to one health. One-health topics included zoonoses (28% [28/100]), animal behavior (25% [25/100]), illness/disease (20% [20/100]), activity level/exercise (16% [16/100]), nutrition (16% [16/100]), dentistry (6% [6/100]), body weight (3% [3/100]), animal welfare (3% [3/100]), dog/cat bites (2% [2/100]), cannabis (2% [2/100]), and aging (1% [1/100]). Zoonotic diseases were mentioned in 65 appointments, 28 of which evolved into a one-health discussion. Antibiotics were discussed in 27 appointments, none of which were discussed in relation to one health (eg, antimicrobial resistance).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggest that one-health topics are raised within most veterinary appointments. Opportunities exist for more comprehensive one-health conversations between veterinarians and their clients, particularly in relation to zoonotic diseases and antimicrobials.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association