Measuring the success of canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations: a systematic review

Robinson, N.J., Belshaw, Z., Brennan, M.L. and Dean, R.S. (2018) Measuring the success of canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations: a systematic review. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 158 . pp. 18-24. ISSN 0167-5877

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Preventative healthcare consultations account for a large proportion of the veterinary caseload. This novel study is the first to methodically review all literature on canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations. Previous research has found these consultations to be different from health problem consultations in terms of communication style and content. Identifying relevant evidence and previously validated methods of measuring the success of these consultations will be useful when implementing strategies for optimisation. The aim of this study was to identify and assess the quality of existing literature which describes and/or measures the success of preventative healthcare consultations.

Database searches of CAB Abstracts and Medline were conducted to identify published literature. Google searches were then conducted to identify any additional published or grey literature. Results were systematically screened to determine whether the returned sources were about cats and/or dogs, whether they related to preventative healthcare, and whether they described and/or measured the success of preventative healthcare consultations. For primary research citations which only described preventative healthcare consultations, data were extracted on the aspects of the consultations described. For citations which additionally measured the success of the consultations, the measures used, sampling technique, key results and key weaknesses were also extracted.

Of 17,538 citations identified in total during the database searches, a total of seven relevant primary research citations were identified. All of these citations described aspects of the preventative healthcare consultation, such as consultation length, health problems discussed, actions taken and communication style. Only one primary research citation measured success of the consultation, using veterinarian satisfaction to determine success. In addition, 30 narrative citations, including expert opinion pieces, textbooks, guidelines without transparent methodology and conference presentations were identified. Google searches identified 224 relevant narrative citations, and five of the seven primary research citations identified by the database searches, but did not identify any additional relevant primary research citations.

The results suggest that, despite accounting for around a third of all consultations, there is relatively little evidence describing preventative healthcare consultations and only one measure of success has been described for these consultations. This presents potential challenges when implementing strategies to optimise these consultations, as measures which are useful and relevant to veterinary practice should first be identified. Identifying useful measures of success will allow future strategies designed to maximise the benefits of these consultations to be meaningfully assessed for efficacy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Vaccination; Preventative healthcare; Preventive; Consultations; Evidence synthesis; Veterinary satisfaction; Client satisfaction
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Hatton, Mrs Kirsty
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2018 10:08
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2019 04:30

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