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A taxonomy of occupational and organisational stressors and protectors of mental health reported by veterinary professionals in Australasia


Connolly, CE and Norris, K and Martin, Angela and Dawkins, S and Meehan, C, A taxonomy of occupational and organisational stressors and protectors of mental health reported by veterinary professionals in Australasia, Australian Veterinary Journal, 100, (8) pp. 367-376. ISSN 1751-0813 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2022 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australian Veterinary Association. Australian Veterinary Journal. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivs License, (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/avj.13167


Aim: To develop a taxonomy of positive and negative occupational and organisational factors reported that impact the mental health of veterinary professionals.

Methods: Veterinary professionals working in Australasia were surveyed between February and June of 2021. The survey comprised two questions related to participants' perceptions of the positive and negative aspects of their job role that impact their mental health and wellbeing. Reflexive thematic analysis was employed to analyse the responses and generate two taxonomies of occupational and organisation stressors and protectors reported by participants.

Results: Fifty-three responses from veterinary professionals were analysed. The final stressor taxonomy generated contained 9 overarching themes and 36 subthemes. The most common of these were negative work conditions, challenging relationships with clients, and adverse events and patient outcomes. The taxonomy of protectors contained 11 overarching themes and 32 subthemes, with the most common including fulfillment and satisfaction, positive work conditions, and relationships with colleagues.

Conclusion: This study is the first to examine both positive and negative factors in the veterinary industry reported by veterinary professionals in Australasia. The results highlighted stressors that can be addressed on both an individual and organisational level to promote the mental and health well-being of professionals working in the animal care industry.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:occupational mental health; positive psychology; qualitative study; reflexive thematic analysis; veterinary industry; veterinary professionals; wellbeing
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Connolly, CE (Miss Caitlin Connolly)
UTAS Author:Norris, K (Professor Kimberley Norris)
UTAS Author:Martin, Angela (Professor Angela Martin)
UTAS Author:Dawkins, S (Dr Sarah Dawkins)
UTAS Author:Meehan, C (Dr Crystal Meehan)
ID Code:153537
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2022-09-23
Last Modified:2022-11-29
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