[en] evidence-based medicine ; decision ; veterinarian
[en] Understanding how veterinary practitioners make clinical decisions, and how they use scientific information to inform their decisions, is important to optimize animal care, client satisfaction, and veterinary education. We aimed to develop an understanding of private practitioners' process of decision making. On the basis of a grounded-theory qualitative approach, we conducted a telephone survey and semi-structured face-to-face interviews. We identified a decision-making framework consisting of two possible processes to make decisions, five steps in the management of a clinical case, and three influencing factors. To inform their decision, veterinary surgeons rarely take the evidence-based medicine (EBM) approach. They consult first-opinion colleagues, specialists, laboratories, and the Internet rather than scientific databases and peer-reviewed literature, mainly because of limited time. Most interviewees suggested the development of educational interventions to better develop decision-making skills in veterinary schools. Adequate information and EBM tools are needed to optimize the time spent in query and assessment of scientific information, and practitioners need to be trained in their use.