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Abstract

Objective—To gain a better understanding of sources and frequency of use of pet health information accessed by owners and assess the level of confidence in information accuracy as reported by pet owners who visit their veterinarians.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—412 participants from 17 small animal veterinary clinics.

Procedures—Questionnaires pertaining to pet owners' habits related to pet health information (sources and frequency of their use and confidence in accuracy of information accessed) were distributed by front desk staff at 17 participating veterinary clinics. A cover letter was included with each survey that offered instructions for completion and assured respondents of their anonymity. All completed surveys were placed in an envelope and returned to the researchers for analysis.

Results—Results indicated that pet owners who visited their veterinarians acquired pet information from veterinarians via the telephone or in person and from family or friends more frequently than they acquired such information from the World Wide Web. Pet owners also reported more confidence in information received from veterinarians (in person and via telephone conversations), compared with information from any other accessible source.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of Web sites by owners as sources of pet health information will undoubtedly continue to grow. Veterinarians can play a more proactive role in helping pet owners to access reliable Web sites that provide useful pet health information, thereby providing a benefit to all parties.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the prevalence of medical errors (specifically, near misses [NMs] and adverse events [AEs]) and their personal and professional impact on veterinarians.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Members of the Veterinary Information Network (n = 46,481).

PROCEDURES An electronic survey regarding veterinarians' experiences with NMs and AEs was distributed via email to an online veterinary community between September 24 and October 21, 2015. Responses were summarized and compared between genders by means of the χ2 test.

RESULTS 606 veterinarians completed the survey (1.3% response rate). Overall, 447 (73.8%) respondents reported involvement in ≥ 1 NM (n = 389 [64.2%]) or AE (179 [29.5%]). The NMs had a short-term (≤ 1 week) adverse impact on professional life for 68.0% (261/384) of respondents and longer-term negative impact for 36.4% (140/385). The impact on respondents' personal lives was similar (63.6% [245/385] and 33.5% [129/385], respectively). For AEs, these numbers were 84.1% (148/176), 56.2% (99/177), 77.8% (137/176), and 50.6% (89/175), respectively. Both NMs and AEs were more likely to negatively impact female veterinarians than male veterinarians.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE These findings suggested that many veterinarians experience emotional distress after a medical error. Support should be provided to mitigate this adverse impact on the wellbeing of veterinarians and, potentially, their future patients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To survey practicing veterinarians regarding their perceptions of and experiences with cases of suspected or confirmed animal abuse and related state laws.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

POPULATION Members of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN; n = 34,144) who were in veterinary practice at the time of the survey.

PROCEDURES A survey was designed and distributed online to all VIN members from January 26 to February 28, 2015. Responses were compiled, and binary logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors that influenced decisions or perceptions regarding animal abuse encounters and related legislation.

RESULTS 1,209 completed surveys were received (3.5% response rate); 1,155 (95.5%) surveys were submitted by currently practicing veterinarians. One thousand five (87.0%) practicing veterinarians reported having encountered at least 1 case of animal abuse while in practice; 561 (55.8%) of these veterinarians indicated that they had reported at least 1 case. The most common reasons selected for reporting abuse were to protect the animal, ethical beliefs, and to protect other animals in the household. The most common reasons selected for not reporting the abuse were uncertainty that the animal had been abused, belief that client education would be better, and belief that the injury or illness was accidental versus intentional. Most respondents were unaware of the current status of laws in their state regarding animal abuse reporting.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested a need for state and national veterinary and humane-law enforcement organizations to increase communication and education efforts on recognition and reporting by veterinarians of animal abuse and the related laws.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association