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Measuring satisfaction in the small animal consultation and its relationship to consult length
  1. Louise Corah1,
  2. Liz Mossop2,
  3. Rachel Dean3 and
  4. Kate Cobb1
  1. 1School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Vice Chancellor's Office, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, Lincs, UK
  3. 3VetPartners Limited, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Louise Corah; Louise.Corah{at}


Background Measuring satisfaction is a useful metric of success of any interaction, but very few validated instruments exist for measuring the satisfaction of the veterinary surgeon (vet) and the client in veterinary consultations. Additionally, there has been no research examining the impact of consultation length on satisfaction. The aim of this observational study was to investigate the use of a single-question graphic scale to assess vet and client satisfaction and the impact of consultation length on satisfaction.

Methods Information on consultation timing was collected for 65 health problem consultations across six practices. These measurements were compared with postconsultation measurements of client and vet satisfaction.

Results A comparison between the long-form and single-question satisfaction instruments demonstrated significant correlation for both vet and client tools (ρ=0.609, P<0.005 and ρ=0.483, P<0.005, respectively). The average client satisfaction with the consultation was high; however, vet satisfaction levels were significantly lower (U=1073, P<0.005). Increased consult length was associated with increased vet satisfaction (ρ=0.332, P=0.007) but not increased client satisfaction.

Conclusion These results demonstrate that the graphic scale is an appropriate proxy for the pre-existing long-form questionnaires available for both vets and clients. Further research is required to examine the disparity identified between vet and client satisfaction.

  • consultation
  • satisfaction
  • small animal practice
  • appointment length
  • veterinary profession
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  • Twitter @louisecorah, @mossposs

  • Funding This work was carried out as part of a PhD funded by a charitable donation from Onswitch, match funded by the University of Nottingham and with support from the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Permission to perform the study was granted by the Research Ethics Committee at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham (approval number: 2129 171003).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Deidentified participant data are available upon reasonable request from the corresponding author (

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