Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Patientenbesitzerbefragungen in der Kleintiermedizin : Bedeutung, Nutzen und Fallstricke bei Planung, Durchführung und Auswertung


In the present study, the benefits and difficulties of planning and conducting patient surveys in veterinary medicine were examined using 2 examples. One focus was placed on the comparison of the subjective assessment and perception of patient owners with regard to long-term investigation of disease progression.

Study population

An owner survey was conducted in dogs with chronic enteropathy (CE) and degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD). In both surveys, the case system of the Clinic for Small Animals of the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover was used to identify suitable cases based on appropriate diagnoses. Owners were contacted and invited to complete (digitally or postally) a multipart questionnaire on their dogs. The results of the survey were evaluated regarding their agreement with literature data. Based on the results of this evaluation, the study design, reliability of owner perception and the benefit of the survey were examined critically.


The search in the clinic's case system provided 125 suitable cases for CE and 145 for DMVD. A total of 81 (CE, response rate 64.8 %) and 72 (DMVD, response rate 49,7 %) owners answered the questionnaire. The owners provided considerably different information concerning the diagnostic examination of their animals. While the statements on the course and forms of disease in CE corresponded to the information from the literature, this was not always the case with DMVD.

Conclusion and clinical relevance

Patient owner surveys may provide important information about disease progression from the owner's perspective. This is particularly valuable in chronic diseases, the management of which requires good owner compliance. An identical approach to patient selection may lead to results differing in their informative value depending on the disease.


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