MSD Animal Health is launching the first evidence-based guidance1 for improving the approach to the preventative veterinary healthcare consultation, developed in partnership with the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine at the University of Nottingham.

The new guidance is being launched as part of the company's Keeping Britain’s Pets Healthy (KBPH) preventative healthcare initiative.

The guidance includes 18 recommendations designed to help all members of the practice team to implement consistent, effective  improvements in preventative healthcare.

The recommendations were the result of a package of research carried out by Dr Rachel Dean, Dr Marnie Brennan, Dr Natalie Robinson and Dr Zoe Belshaw at the university’s vet school, including a systematic review of the literature, a survey of veterinary surgeons and in-depth interviews with vets and owners. A final study used the Delphi technique to achieve consensus amongst 26 first opinion practitioners and 8 pet owners. 

The recommendations invite practices to consider a number of ways they might improve the consultation process, including: the purpose of the consultation, the role of each member of the practice team, and how pet owner expectations should be addressed and communicated during the process.

John Helps, Senior Technical Manager at MSD Animal Health said: "Our new KBPH initiative marks a step change in our emphasis on preventative healthcare.

"It aims to champion the central role each member of the veterinary practice team plays as experts in educating and engaging our nation of pet lovers. 

"These evidence-based guidelines are just the first step towards our increased emphasis on communicating the importance of the annual preventative health visit.

"They support the partnership between the practice and its clients around the health and welfare of their pets, and the significant contribution vaccines and parasiticides make to the health and welfare of their pets. They also help the whole team understand their specific role in the provision of preventative healthcare."

You can download the full recommendations here.

Reference

  1. Developing practical recommendations for preventative healthcare consultations involving dogs and cats using a Delphi technique.  Natalie Robinson, Zoe Belshaw, Marnie Brennan, Rachel Dean.  Vet Record (2019) 10.1136/ vr.104970 (in press).

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