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Aust Vet J. 2009 Mar;87(3):76-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2009.00391.x.

Psychological well-being of Australian veterinarians.

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  • 1Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, University of Western Australia, Ground Floor, B Block, Hospital Ave, Nedlands, Perth 6009, Western Australia, Australia.



To use established psychological scales to measure levels of distress, anxiety and depression in veterinarians, and compare these levels between different veterinary subgroups and other professional groups.


A cohort of veterinarians was identified through contact with veterinary schools in Australia. Participants completed a self-reporting questionnaire that included queries about general health and demographics, psychological well-being, job-specific perceptions of health, dispositional characteristics and social support.


Of the 2125 respondents who completed the psychological questionnaire, approximately one-third reported poor psychological health. Increasing age, increasing time in current job, increasing years since graduation and male gender was associated with fewer signs of distress, anxiety and depression. Compared with the general population, veterinarians experienced more negative emotions at work, but were similar to other professional groups.


Poor psychological health is common in the profession and professional veterinary bodies may wish to consider providing training in dealing with work-related distress, anxiety and depression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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