Organization: University of Tennessee
Investigator(s): Linda M. Daugherty, MPA
Grant Amount: $391,420
Project Type: Basic Research
Project Status: Research Complete
The Access to Veterinary Care Coalition at the University of Tennessee (UT) conducted a national study of pet owners, focusing on populations with inadequate access to veterinary care. The report entitled, Access to Veterinary Care: Barriers, Current Practices, and Public Policy, was released December 17, 2018. The report found that an overwhelming barrier for all income groups of pet owners is financial for all types of care (80.0% for preventative care, 73.8% for sick care, and 55.7% for emergency care).
To understand: pet owners' barriers to veterinary care across socioeconomic strata; and veterinarians' knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding access to care.
This report is a compilation of results from national research by University of Tennessee's Center for Applied Research and Evaluation (CARE) in the form of surveys and focus groups; associated research targeting pet owners with housing insecurity; technical papers discussing pets as family, evolving animal welfare laws, public health, an economic comparison of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary practices and a discussion about changes in veterinary medicine over the past decades.
Lack of access to veterinary care is a complex societal problem with many causes. Key stakeholders include veterinary service providers, social service and public health professionals, animal welfare advocates, policymakers and society in general. Barriers to veterinary care can be mitigated, especially through determined effort and better alignment of existing resources to achieve this outcome.