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  • Author or Editor: Jesse G. Grady x
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To adapt the 3 scales of the Autonomy Preference Index to veterinary medicine and validate the 3 new scales to measure pet owner preferences for autonomy and information when making medical decisions for their pets.


10 small-animal veterinarians and 10 small-animal clients at a veterinary school–based community practice (pilot study) and 311 small-animal clients of the practice (validation study), of which 47 participated in a follow-up survey.


Wording of items in the Autonomy Preference Index was adapted, and instrument wording was finalized on the basis of feedback obtained in the pilot study to create 3 scales: the Veterinary General Decision-Making Preferences Scale (VGDMPS), Veterinary Clinical Decision-Making Preferences Scale (VCDMPS), and Veterinary Information-Seeking Preferences Scale (VISPS). The 3 scales were then validated by means of administering them to small-animal clients in a clinical setting.


The 3 scales had acceptable reliability and validity, but clients expressed concern over item wording in the VGDMPS during the pilot study. Overall, results showed that clients had a very high preference for information (mean ± SD VISPS score, 4.78 ± 0.36 on a scale from 1 to 5). Preferences for autonomy varied, but mean values reflected a low-to-moderate desire for autonomy in clinical decision-making (mean ± SD VCDMPS score, 2.04 ± 0.62 on a scale from 1 to 5).


The VCDMPS was a reliable and valid instrument for measuring client preferences for autonomy in clinical decision-making. Veterinarians could potentially use this instrument to better understand pet owner preferences and tailor their communication approach accordingly.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


In collaboration with the American College of Veterinary Radiology

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association