6. Challenges of EBVM

6.1. What are the challenges?

6.1 What are the challenges?


One of the first considerations is the time it takes to engage in each of the five stages of the EBVM cycle. As busy veterinary practitioners, it can be challenging to find the time in a daily work schedule that includes consults, surgeries, emergencies, etc. Existing evidence syntheses (e.g. Knowledge Summaries) are a helpful place to start your EBVM journey.

   Access to journal articles and databases

Even when there is evidence available, frustratingly, it can be difficult to access; journals often require a subscription fee to access research papers. Veterinarians working outside of academic institutions may only have access to a handful of journals through their practice or personal subscriptions and may not have access to databases limiting their ability to acquire evidence.

There are more 'free access' resources available, although the quality of the evidence can vary. One initiative, the RCVS Knowledge Library and Information Services  , has seen increasing numbers of practitioners subscribing to its service, which provides access to a range of full-text electronic journals for an annual fee.

  Client access to 'evidence'

Clients have access to many of the same resources that veterinary professionals do, but usually lack the clinical expertise to assess whether the advice they find online is sensible. They may have attempted diagnosis, and treatment, before seeking veterinary advice, and the veterinary surgeon now has an important role in educating owners.

A dearth of evidence

Experts agree that there is a lack of high-quality published evidence for veterinary medicine (Dean and Brennan, 2016; Lanyon, 2014), especially in comparison with the larger evidence-base for human medicine and that funding is an issue:

case-based research in the ‘real world’ of veterinary clinics has no funding base to support it"
(Lanyon, 2014)