Stress and strain among veterinarians: a scoping review

Ir Vet J. 2022 Jun 21;75(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s13620-022-00220-x.


The aim of this review is to systematically review studies on work-related stress that may affect the mental health of veterinarians. Studies have indicated a high prevalence of various risk factors for mental disorders among practicing veterinarians. In addition to a high risk of suicide, there is increasing evidence of burnout and depression. A scoping review was conducted using the PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, PubPsych and PSYNDEX databases. Twenty-one studies (plus seven studies with nonstandardized questionnaires) published between 2000 and 2021 were found that presented data on the effect of workload on the mental wellbeing of veterinarians. All of the included studies indicate a high prevalence of psychological stressors in veterinary practice. The risks of burnout, anxiety and depressive disorders are higher in this occupational group than in the general population and other occupational groups. Subjectively, female veterinarians perceive their psychological workload to be higher than that of their male counterparts. Working hours and ethical dilemmas stand out as major sources of stress. There is a need to improve overall psychological wellbeing of veterinarians. Organizational support services and developing personal strategies for coping with work-related stress can prove helpful.

PMID:35729648 | DOI:10.1186/s13620-022-00220-x

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