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Abstract

PICO question

Compared to in-person veterinary consultations, does teleconsultation lead to similar levels of client and clinician satisfaction?

 

Clinical bottom line

Category of research question

Qualitative assessment

The number and type of study designs reviewed

Eight studies were critically appraised. There were six cross-sectional studies, one randomised controlled clinical trial, and one case report

Strength of evidence

Weak

Outcomes reported

All eight studies provided weak evidence of similar levels of clinician and / or client satisfaction

Conclusion

Teleconsultation can lead to similar levels of client and clinician satisfaction when compared to in-person consultations. However, the evidence is weak due to the subjectivity and varied methods of measuring satisfaction. Furthermore, the current applicability of veterinary teleconsultation is still very limited to certain select scenarios in which it is appropriate (e.g., emergency, triage, remote locations, non-complicated routine postoperative checks, nutrition and behavioural consults)

 

How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.

 

Open Access Peer Reviewed