This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Communication in Veterinary Medicine: An Examination of the Veterinary Medical Encounter




Hall, Kathryn

Type of Degree



Communication and Journalism


The purpose of this study was to investigate client perceptions of communication behaviors employed by veterinarians during the veterinary medical interview. Fifty small animal veterinary clients participated, identifying communication behaviors used during the medical encounter and rating their level of satisfaction with various aspects of the medical interview. Results showed various communication behaviors used during the encounter as well as various behaviors that clients prefer their veterinarian to employ. Stepwise regression was used to show that clients are most satisfied when they have their veterinarians undivided attention as well as when they are provided with practical information about their pet’s health. Drawing from uncertainty reduction theory, results show that the employment of effective communication behaviors by both veterinarian and client could result in improved veterinary medical encounters.