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‘Feel the quality’ - JSAP looks at a quality of life questionnaire developed for use with dogs treated for portosystemic shunts

Published: 1/2/2019

Professor Nick Jeffery, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Small Animal Practice, our Official Scientific Journal, highlights a paper that poses some questions about which outcomes can help to define treatment success... As veterinarians the treatment we give is often focused on correcting the medical problems we diagnose in our patients. However, owners are usually more focused on what might be termed quality of life. Fortunately, these two objectives can often be attained by the same therapies but it can be instructive to compare outcomes so as to make sure that our interventions do what we want them to do.

In this month’s issue of JSAP Bristow and colleagues explain the development of a quality of life questionnaire for dogs treated for portosystemic shunts. Interestingly, owners regarded the dogs’ quality of life very highly, in fact higher than would seem appropriate based on outcomes obtained from medical questionnaires.

The results pose questions about which outcomes should be used to define treatment success and similar considerations might apply to many other conditions.

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