Seeing the benefits, but not taking advantage of them: Dog and cat owners’ beliefs about veterinary telemedicine

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BackgroundTelemedicine offers benefits to clients and their animals, but potential disadvantages are also being debated.MethodsUsing a questionnaire, we investigated dog and cat owners’ (N = 2117) use of and beliefs about telemedicine and whether beliefs impact past and expected future use.ResultsAlthough the majority of owners are aware that telemedicine can lead to the risk of something being missed, they see great potential in remote consultation in terms of usefulness for follow-up appointments or improving access to a specialist. However, only 12% of dog owners and 6% of cat owners have used telemedicine, and around 25% of owners who have never used it would be willing to use it in the future. Owners with a larger number of recent veterinary visits were more likely to have used telemedicine.LimitationsAlthough a definition of ‘telemedicine’ was provided, respondents may have had different perceptions of what this meant.ConclusionOwners of dogs and cats recognise the potential benefits of telemedicine, but there is a mismatch with the actual uptake. This not only raises questions about the current availability of telemedicine but also should increase veterinary professionals’ understanding of its potential benefits in veterinary practice.
TidsskriftVeterinary Record
Udgave nummer5
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2024

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