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  • Author or Editor: Catherine N. H. Groves x
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Abstract

Discrete choice methods (DCMs) are a suite of research techniques for identifying individual preferences using choice information. Widely utilized by other fields yet rarely employed in veterinary research, DCMs have tremendous potential to improve veterinary healthcare by understanding and incorporating owner and veterinary professionals' (encompassing veterinarians, veterinary clinicians, technicians, receptionists, attendants, etc) preferences to optimize the care continuum. DCMs have several advantages over other stated preference methods, such as ranking and ratings, including improved data quality and actionability. However, they are not a panacea, and limitations that may affect DCMs' application to the veterinary field are outlined alongside realistic mitigation strategies. The information provided aims to increase awareness of DCMs and their utility in veterinary research and encourage greater uptake as a more robust method for measuring preferences.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the prevalence and nature of cost conversations occurring during veterinarian-client-patient interactions within companion animal practice.

SAMPLES

60 randomly selected, practicing veterinarians working in 55 practices across southern Ontario, Canada, and 909 of their clients, sampled by convenience.

PROCEDURES

A cross-sectional descriptive study including 917 video-recorded appointments. Associations between veterinarian, client, or appointment-level factors and occurrence of a cost conversation were evaluated using multi-level logistic regression.

RESULTS

215 of 917 (23.4%) videos included a discussion of cost between the veterinarian and client. Cost conversations involving veterinarians primarily focused on conveying the price in relation to the time or service being offered (74.0% [159/215]), whereas the benefit to the future health and wellness of the patient was conveyed in 14.4% (31/215) of veterinarians’ cost conversations. Costs were most frequently discussed by veterinarians in relation to diagnostic testing (44.2% [96/215]). The odds of a cost discussion occurring were greater during problem appointments versus wellness (P = .011) or recheck (P = .029) appointments, for feline versus canine patients (P = .037), as appointment duration increased (P < .001), and as a client’s number of visits in the past year decreased (P = .049).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Discussing cost of care in veterinary practice continues to be relatively uncommon. Opportunities exist for veterinary professionals to frame their communication of the cost of veterinary care in relation to the benefits offered to the future health and wellbeing of the veterinary patient.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine dog owner preferences for information communicated during veterinarian-client obesity-related conversations within companion animal practice.

SAMPLE

Dog owners recruited using snowball sampling.

METHODS

A cross-sectional online questionnaire was distributed to dog owners. A discrete choice experiment was used to determine the relative importance, to participating dog owners, of information about selected weight-related attributes that would encourage them to pursue weight management for a dog when diagnosed as overweight by a veterinarian.

RESULTS

A total of 1,108 surveys were analyzed, with most participating dog owners residing in Canada. The most important weight-related attribute was life expectancy (relative importance, 28.56%), followed by the timeline for developing arthritis (19.24%), future quality of life (18.91%), change to cost of food (18.90%), and future mobility (14.34%).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggest that dog owners may consider information relating to an extension of their dog's life as the most important aspect of an obesity-related veterinary recommendation. By integrating dog owner preferences into discussions between clients and veterinary professionals about obesity, there is the potential to encourage more clients to engage in weight management efforts for their overweight or obese dog.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the relative importance of information communicated to cat owners during veterinarian-client obesity-related conversations.

SAMPLE

Cat owner participants recruited via snowball sampling.

METHODS

A cross-sectional online questionnaire was distributed to cat owners who owned cats of any weight status. A discrete choice experiment design was used to determine the relative importance of obesity-related attributes to cat owners when receiving information from a veterinarian.

RESULTS

A total of 1,095 questionnaires were analyzed. Participating cat owners resided primarily in Canada and the US. Impact on life expectancy was the most important attribute that would encourage participants to pursue weight management for a cat with obesity (relative importance, 32.66%), followed by change to cost of food (20.40%), future quality of life (20.38%), future mobility (14.40%), and risk of developing diabetes (12.15%).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggest that cat owners consider the impact on life expectancy to be most important when considering whether to follow a veterinarian's recommendation for their cat to lose weight. When veterinary professionals are communicating about obesity in practice, there is the potential to increase owner engagement in weight management efforts for cats by emphasizing the obesity-related information owners prefer to receive.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association