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Difficulties experienced by veterinarians when communicating about emerging zoonotic risks with animal owners: the case of Hendra virus.

Abstract Communication skills are essential for veterinarians who need to discuss animal health related matters with their clients. When dealing with an emerging zoonosis, such as Hendra virus (HeV), veterinarians also have a legal responsibility to inform their clients about the associated risks to human health. Here we report on part of a mixed methods study that examined the preparedness of, and difficulties experienced by, veterinarians communicating about HeV-related risks with their clients.
PMID
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Authors

Mayor MeshTerms

Veterinarians

Zoonoses

Keywords

Emerging zoonoses

Health and safety

Hendra virus

Horse owners

Risk communication

Veterinarians

Journal Title bmc veterinary research
Publication Year Start




PMID- 28214468
OWN - NLM
STAT- MEDLINE
DA  - 20170219
DCOM- 20170227
LR  - 20170227
IS  - 1746-6148 (Electronic)
IS  - 1746-6148 (Linking)
VI  - 13
IP  - 1
DP  - 2017 Feb 18
TI  - Difficulties experienced by veterinarians when communicating about emerging
      zoonotic risks with animal owners: the case of Hendra virus.
PG  - 56
LID - 10.1186/s12917-017-0970-2 [doi]
AB  - BACKGROUND: Communication skills are essential for veterinarians who need to
      discuss animal health related matters with their clients. When dealing with an
      emerging zoonosis, such as Hendra virus (HeV), veterinarians also have a legal
      responsibility to inform their clients about the associated risks to human
      health. Here we report on part of a mixed methods study that examined the
      preparedness of, and difficulties experienced by, veterinarians communicating
      about HeV-related risks with their clients. METHODS: Phase 1 was an exploratory, 
      qualitative study that consisted of a series of face-to-face, semi-structured
      interviews with veterinary personnel from Queensland, Australia (2009-10) to
      identify the barriers to HeV management in equine practices. Phase 2a was a
      quantitative study that surveyed veterinarians from the same region (2011) and
      explored the veterinarians' preparedness and willingness to communicate about
      HeV-related risks, and the reactions of their clients that they experienced. The 
      second study included both multiple choice and open-ended questions. RESULTS: The
      majority of the participants from Phase 2a (83.1%) declared they had access to a 
      HeV management plan and over half (58.6%) had ready-to-use HeV information
      available for clients within their practice. Most (87%) reported "always or
      sometimes" informing clients about HeV-related risks when a horse appeared sick. 
      When HeV was suspected, 58.1% of participants reported their clients were
      receptive to their safety directives and 24.9% of clients were either initially
      unreceptive, overwhelmed by fear, or in denial of the associated risks. The
      thematic analysis of the qualitative data from Phases 1 and 2a uncovered similar 
      themes in relation to HeV-related communication issues experienced by
      veterinarians: "clients' intent to adhere"; "adherence deemed redundant";
      "misunderstanding or denial of risk"; "cost"; "rural culture"; "fear for
      reputation". The theme of "emotional state of clients" was only identified during
      Phase 1. CONCLUSION: Warning horse owners about health and safety issues that may
      affect them when present in a veterinary work environment is a legal requirement 
      for veterinarians. However, emerging zoonoses are unpredictable events that may
      require a different communication approach. Future training programs addressing
      veterinary communication skills should take into account the particular issues
      inherent to managing an emerging zoonosis and emphasise the importance of
      maintaining human safety. Veterinary communication skills and approaches required
      when dealing with emerging zoonoses should be further investigated.
FAU - Mendez, Diana H
AU  - Mendez DH
AD  - College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University,
      Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia. [email protected]
FAU - Buttner, Petra
AU  - Buttner P
AD  - Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD 4870,
      Australia.
AD  - Tropical Health Solutions Pty Ltd, Townsville, 4811, QLD, Australia.
FAU - Kelly, Jenny
AU  - Kelly J
AD  - College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811,
      Australia.
AD  - Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD
      4811, Australia.
FAU - Nowak, Madeleine
AU  - Nowak M
AD  - College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811,
      Australia.
FAU - Speare Posthumously, Rick
AU  - Speare Posthumously R
LA  - eng
PT  - Journal Article
DEP - 20170218
PL  - England
TA  - BMC Vet Res
JT  - BMC veterinary research
JID - 101249759
SB  - IM
MH  - Adult
MH  - Animals
MH  - Communicable Diseases, Emerging/*transmission
MH  - Communication
MH  - Female
MH  - Hendra Virus/*physiology
MH  - Henipavirus Infections/epidemiology/*veterinary/virology
MH  - Horse Diseases/epidemiology/transmission/*virology
MH  - Horses
MH  - Humans
MH  - Male
MH  - Middle Aged
MH  - Queensland/epidemiology
MH  - Risk Factors
MH  - *Veterinarians
MH  - *Zoonoses
PMC - PMC5316153
OTO - NOTNLM
OT  - Emerging zoonoses
OT  - Health and safety
OT  - Hendra virus
OT  - Horse owners
OT  - Risk communication
OT  - Veterinarians
EDAT- 2017/02/20 06:00
MHDA- 2017/02/28 06:00
CRDT- 2017/02/20 06:00
PHST- 2015/11/21 [received]
PHST- 2017/02/08 [accepted]
AID - 10.1186/s12917-017-0970-2 [doi]
AID - 10.1186/s12917-017-0970-2 [pii]
PST - epublish
SO  - BMC Vet Res. 2017 Feb 18;13(1):56. doi: 10.1186/s12917-017-0970-2.

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