Injuries in Australian veterinarians

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis



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This thesis identifies the prevalence of injuries in Australian veterinarians responding to a national survey and describes the characteristics associated with these injuries. The thesis is based on a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from the Health Risks of Australian Veterinarians (HRAV) study, a survey of 2800 graduates of Australian veterinary schools graduating between 1960 and 2000. Strengths and weaknesses in the published literature pertaining to injuries in veterinarians were reviewed and inadequacies in the literature were discussed, forming the basis for the research presented. Using a developed coding framework, data from the HRAV study were systematically coded and a detailed descriptive analysis of the data was undertaken. Through a series of research manuscripts that have been submitted or published in peer-reviewed journals, the prevalence of injury and the characteristics associated with injuries sustained in veterinary practice and with the use of safety precautions at the time of injury are described. Over half of the responding veterinarians reported a seriouswork-related injury during their career while 26% of practitioners reported having at least one injury in the previous 12 months. Chronic work-related musculoskeletal problems were reported by 49% of respondents. Findings from this research have included that large animal practitioners are at highest risk of injury. Injuries have been found to be most frequently sustained on farms and in association with undertaking procedural activities. Hand injuries are the most frequent bodily location of injury reported and the most frequent serious injuries sustained were open wounds, fractures and dislocations. The major factors reported in association with injury are cattle, horses and dogs. Limited use of safety precautions at the time of the injury has been identified as a concern.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2012

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