Veterinarian satisfaction with companion animal visits

Jane R. Shaw, Cindy L. Adams, Brenda N. Bonnett, Susan Larson, Debra L. Roter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective-To measure veterinarian satisfaction with companion animal visits through an adaptation of a previously validated physician visit satisfaction scale and to identify demographic, personality, appointment, and communication factors that contribute to veterinarian visit satisfaction. Design-Cross-sectional descriptive study. Sample-Random sample of 50 companion animal practitioners in southern Ontario, Canada, and convenience sample of 300 clients and their pets. Procedures-For each practitioner, 6 clinical appointments were videotaped, and the resulting 300 videotapes were analyzed by use of the Roter interaction analysis system. The physician satisfaction scale, Rosenberg self-esteem scale, and interpersonal reactivity index were used to measure veterinarian visit satisfaction, self-esteem, and empathy, respectively. Linear regression analysis was conducted to study the relationship between factors and veterinarian visit satisfaction. Results-Veterinarian visit satisfaction ranged from 1 to 5 (mean ± SD, 3.97 ± 0.99) and differed significantly between wellness appointments (mean scale score, 4.13) and problem appointments (mean scale score, 3.81). Various elements of client and veterinarian communication as well as personality measures of veterinarian self-esteem and empathy were associated with veterinarian satisfaction. The specific factors differed depending on the nature of the appointment. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Results suggested that veterinarian visit-specific satisfaction is enhanced through the use of communication that builds relationships with clients and is associated with degrees of veterinarian empathetic concern and veterinarian self-esteem. The implications extend to overall job satisfaction and its potential link to the health and well-being of individual veterinarians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-841
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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