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Horse owners’ attitudes towards and motivators for using complementary and alternative veterinary medicine

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Background Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) is becoming increasingly popular in horses. Methods Online, cross-sectional survey in 1532 horse owners. Attitude towards CAVM, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and intention for future CAVM use were measured based on the theory of planned behaviour. Structural equation modelling was performed to characterize factors influencing intention to use CAVM. Results Past use of CAVM, predominantly manual therapies and herbal supplements, was reported by 72.5% of all participants. Frequently reported indications were improving horse's well-being, illness which did not resolve after conventional treatment and chronic illness. The attitude towards CAVM was positive with a median (interquartile range) score of 6 of 7 (4.75-7.00). Predictors for past CAVM use were higher owner age, alternative medicine self-use and higher education (non-university). The strongest predictor of future CAVM usage was perceived behavioural control and perceived CAVM efficacy, as well as positive attitude towards and perceived knowledge about CAVM. The veterinarian was reported as a source of information about CAVM by 86.4% of all participants. Conclusions Horse owners showed a high intention to use CAVM with the owners' perceived behavioural control and perceived CAVM efficacy as the strongest predictor. Veterinarian-client communication is important to inform horse owners correctly.
ISSN: 2042-7670
Issue: 2
Volume: 189
Publication year:2021