Surveying dog owners' use and understanding of, and communication with veterinarians about, complementary and alternative veterinary medicine

Pia Keller*, Ini Vanwesenbeeck, Annelies Decloedt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background 

Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) seems to be gaining acceptance by pet owners. Client-veterinarian communication about CAVM is important to explore client perceptions and facilitate open exchange of ideas between owners and veterinarians. 

Methods 

This study includes an online, cross-sectional survey of dog owners to evaluate CAVM use and client-veterinarian communication about CAVM. Based on the extended theory of planned behaviour, factors influencing the intention to use CAVM were evaluated. 

Results

Past CAVM use was reported by 45.3% clients based on 1000 valid surveys. The attitude towards CAVM was generally positive. Perceived knowledge about CAVM positively predicted perceived behavioural control and attitude towards CAVM. Both were the strongest predictors of future CAVM use. Around 45.7% of clients had already talked to their veterinarian about CAVM. This conversation was mainly initiated by the owner (66.3%). Owners expected the veterinarian to have knowledge about CAVM (91.5%) and offer referral (71.5%). 

Limitations 

The limitation is difficulty in classifying and defining CAVM modalities. Conclusions Owners' perceived behavioural control and attitude towards CAVM predict CAVM use. Failure to engage in a conversation about CAVM hampers clients to partner with veterinarians to discuss the treatment approach and maximise patient outcome. The veterinarian plays an essential role in providing objective accurate information about CAVM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2343
Pages (from-to)419-458
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary record
Volume192
Issue number11
Early online date4 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • complementary and alternative veterinary medicine
  • holistic approach
  • human behaviour
  • theory of planned behaviour
  • GENERAL-POPULATION
  • PREVALENCE
  • THERAPIES
  • EDUCATION

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