Abstracts: Quality of Life measurement in dogs and cats

Quality of life (QoL) assessment in companion animals is an essential aspect of veterinary medicine that helps guide treatment decisions and ensures optimal animal welfare. Veterinarians and pet owners can use disease specific or generic QoL assessment tools to evaluate an individual animal’s QoL.

The aim of this scoping review was to identify and assess published generic QoL assessment tools suitable for use in either dogs or cats. A literature search identified 82 relevant publications, nine of which contained appropriate generic QoL assessment tools in accordance with inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Each tool was assessed for evidence of psychometric evaluation including statistical analysis, reliability, and validity. Commonly included items were determined to highlight potential important aspects of dog or cat QoL. Five of the nine publications used a statistical method such as factor analysis to determine tool design and structure.

Although at least one aspect of reliability and validity was assessed for seven of the tools, none were validated across all measures. Two of the publications contained minimal to no statistical analysis. Common items for both dogs and cats included those regarding activity level, the desire for interaction and appetite.

In addition, common items for cats included those regarding mood and grooming. This scoping review identified and evaluated currently available generic QoL assessment tools, providing a reference point for future tool development and validation.

Annabelle E Fulmer 1Linda J Laven 2Kate E Hill 2

Animals (Basel). 2022 Feb 8;12(3):400.doi: 10.3390/ani12030400.

1Maroubra Veterinary Hospital, 88 Bunnerong Rd, Pagewood, Sydney, NSW 2035, Australia.

2Tāwharau Ora, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, P.O. Box 11222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.

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