Pet owners' and veterinarians' perceptions of information exchange and clinical decision-making in companion animal practice

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 2)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 10,103 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Abstract :

One of the most complex aspects of the veterinarian-client-patient interaction is the clinical decision-making process. Research suggests that the approach to communication used by veterinarians can impact veterinary clients' involvement in the decision-making process and their ultimate satisfaction. Using different approaches to the decision-making process may affect how information is exchanged and consequently how decisions are made. The objective of this study was to determine pet owners' expectations with respect to information exchange and decision-making during veterinarian-client-patient interactions and to compare veterinarians' perceptions of those expectations and the challenges they face in meeting them. Five pet owner focus groups (27 owners) and three veterinarian focus groups (24 veterinarians) were conducted with standardized open-ended questions and follow-up probes. Thematic analysis of the transcribed data was conducted to identify trends and patterns that emerged during the focus groups. Three pet owner-based themes were identified: 1) understanding the client; 2) providing information suitable for the client; and 3) decision-making. In addition, three barriers for veterinarians affecting information exchange and decision-making were identified: 1) time constraints; 2) involvement of multiple clients; and 3) language barriers. Results suggest that pet owners expect to be supported by their veterinarian to make informed decisions by understanding the client's current knowledge, tailoring information and educating clients about their options. Breakdowns in the information exchange process can impact pet owners' perceptions of veterinarians' motivations. Pet owners' emphasis on partnership suggests that a collaborative approach between veterinarians and clients may improve client satisfaction.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A650392683