Pioneering centre celebrates ten years of evidence-based veterinary medicine

10 December 2020

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham celebrates ten years of evidence-based veterinary medicine.

The Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine launched a decade ago to highlight the importance of using an evidence-based approach for veterinary care and the need for good quality research to help facilitate good clinical decision-making.

It is still the only research institution globally with a sole focus on creating and applying evidence-based resources for veterinary practice, along with carrying out research relevant to the cases and conditions practitioners are seeing every day.

Evidence-based veterinary medicine is the process of considering the scientific evidence, along with clinical expertise and specific owner and patient circumstances to make clinical decisions that are best for patients.

A team of experts at the University work directly with the veterinary profession to prioritise and undertake relevant research using appropriate clinical research methods.  The team also work hard to generate evidence-based resources and to provide education and training to enhance clinical research and clinical decision-making.

Dr Marnie Brennan, Director of the Centre, says: “Since 2010, there has been a paradigm shift in the veterinary profession, and along with other individuals and groups, we believe we’ve been instrumental in the increased awareness about the value of using an evidence-based approach and the need for good quality research and evidence based resources.”

Over the past 10 years, the team have carried out a range of practice changing work. One such piece of work was a collaborative project between the University and the Pet Blood Bank to investigate the processing method for canine blood banking. The project led to a permanent change in the way blood donations were handled meaning more donations could be made and far few donations wasted and so saving more lives.

The team has also studied the ‘preventive medicine consultation journey’ from when a client makes initial contact with a veterinary practice about preventive medicine, through their visit and beyond. The findings from this work resulted in the provision of novel evidence-based guidance on how to optimise preventive medicine consultations in small animal practice.  These findings have proved useful and relevant to vets, veterinary nurses and practice managers, with over 3185 downloads of the guidance since Feb 2019.

“The key to our success has been a strong team, passionate about evidence-based veterinary medicine and about contributing back to the profession, along with an openness for collaborating with others,” adds Dr Brennan.

“It has been inspiring to witness the enthusiasm, drive and motivation of the members of this wider team.  Along with external funders and supporters focused on the same key goals as us, we have accomplished great things. I’m really proud of the achievements of our team, and where their dedication has taken them as individuals, and us as a group.  The profession needs strong leadership in this area, and through this initiative, we believe we have contributed a much-needed voice for the profession.”