Owner-reported outcome measures in veterinary care for companion animal orthopedic patients: An international online survey of veterinarians' expectations and practices

Authors: 
Heidi Radke, Tracy Y Zhu, Christian Knoll, Matthew J Allen, Alexander Joeris
Vet Surg. 2022 Jun 16. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13842.

Objective: To report veterinarians' familiarity with and perceptions of owner/observer-reported outcome measures (OROMs) and their applications in routine clinical practice.

Study design: Cross-sectional online survey.

Animals or sample population: A total of 441 veterinarians with a caseload of companion animal orthopedic patients.

Methods: Respondents answered questions regarding their familiarity with and application of OROMs. Respondents provided opinions on statements related to reasons for using or not using OROMs in routine clinical practice, prerequisites to implement OROMs in routine clinical practice, and whether they would implement OROMs in routine clinical practice if adequate tools/technologies were available.

Results: Most (293/441, 66.4%) respondents felt familiarity with at least one OROM. Only 17.5% (77 out of the 440 answering the question about the application of OROMs) applied OROMs in routine clinical practice. The two main reasons for not using OROMs in routine clinical practice were the lack of opportunity/feasibility and the lack sufficient information/knowledge/experiences. User-friendliness, time efficiency, and interpretability were considered the most important prerequisites for implementing OROMs in routine clinical practice. If adequate tools/technologies were available, 266/439 (60.6%) respondents indicated that they would definitely implement OROMs in routine clinical practice.

Conclusion: Although most respondents were familiar with at least one OROM, fewer than one-fifth applied them in routine clinical practice. Most respondents were willing to implement OROMs in routine clinical practice if adequate tools/technologies were available.

Clinical significance: Our results justify further investigations to improve the application of OROMs in routine clinical practice in veterinary care of companion animal orthopedic patients.