A King’s College London research project which looks at how upsetting workplace experiences can affect veterinary wellbeing, is currently recruiting participants.
The study is funded by the RCVS Mind Matters Initiative through its £20,000 Sarah Brown Mental Health Research grant and is led by psychologists Professor Neil Greenberg, Dr Dominic Murphy and Dr Victoria Williamson.
The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of ‘moral injury’ on veterinary professions, including the types of moral injuries veterinary professionals might encounter, their prevalence, the perceptions amongst professionals around how these moral injuries come about, and what support is needed when they occur. Morally injurious events are defined as experiences which violate one’s moral or ethical code.
An online questionnaire has now been launched which is available for all members of the veterinary team who may wish to provide evidence about morally injurious events and the impact they have had to the study.
Dr Victoria Williamson said: “If you have experienced an upsetting event in your veterinary role, it would be really helpful if you could fill in our questionnaire which is anonymous and confidential. As part of this study, we are particularly interested in hearing about experiences that may have caused you to question the kind of person you are, or the kind of world we live in. These are things that you feel you may have done or failed to do, or things that others did or failed to do.
“We hope our results will help us to find better ways of meeting the needs of veterinarians in future so we would encourage veterinary professionals to also circulate this study to colleagues. Some participants may be invited to take part in a follow-up telephone interview; however, we would like to assure you this element of the project is completely voluntary.”
The follow-up telephone interviews, for those who wish to participate, will concerns the participant’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs since their challenging experience and how the event may have affected them. The interviews will last around an hour and participants will be asked to give verbal consent.
It is anticipated that the results of the study, which has been approved by the King’s College London Research Ethics Committee, will help develop interventions to better meet the needs of veterinary professionals who may find themselves in distress due to morally injurious events in the future.
The results of the study will also be published in scientific journals and summaries will be made available for the relevant stakeholders with the aim of informing future research studies to support veterinary wellbeing, as well as clinical practice and policy.
Those who wish to find out more about the study before completing the survey can contact Dr Williamson on [email protected]