Thousands of veterinary professionals around the world have reported experiencing stress and diminished wellbeing in an online survey conducted by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).
The findings show that stress and diminished wellbeing are a problem for all members of the veterinary team and in all areas of the world. They also indicate that the most seriously affected appear to be females, younger professionals and veterinary nurses/technicians.
Conducted by the WSAVA’s Professional Wellness Group (PWG), the survey was completed by more than 4000 veterinary professionals and analysed using the Kessler Psychological Distress tool, which measures anxiety and depression; a Satisfaction with Life scale and a Satisfaction with Career scale.
The results were presented by Dr Nienke Endenburg, a psychologist and co-chair of the PWG during WSAVA World Congress in Toronto on 17 July and followed by an expert panel discussion.
“Our research—the first global study of veterinary wellness—confirms a probable correlation between a career in veterinary medicine and an elevated risk of mental health issues,” Dr Endenburg said.
“It’s likely that this is caused by a combination of factors including working environment, personal characteristics and client pressures. We are very concerned at the impact this is having on thousands of veterinary professionals worldwide and believe it must be addressed without delay.”