Autistic veterinary workers sought for workplace study

Autistic veterinary workers sought for workplace study

Mental health researchers are looking for more participants to take part in a ground-breaking study exploring workplace stressors affecting the autistic veterinary community and how this can help create better workplaces.

University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science academics are looking for participants who work in the equine and farm animal sectors whom have been under-represented so far.

The study is led by Dr Kirstie Pickles and Mr Brad Hill and funded by a grant from the Mind Matters Initiative’s Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Fund.

The project is split into two parts, the first is a critical incident study that involves interviewing a sample of ~20 autistic vets to identify behaviours and factors that are associated with either a ‘good’ or ‘difficult’ day at work.

The outcomes of the interviews will inform the second part of the study which is a cross-sectional survey to be administered to the wider population of autistic vets to assess role-specific job stressors and mental health in these individuals. A series of guidelines for reasonable workplace adjustments will be developed from these responses.

Commenting on the research so far, Lead Researcher Kirstie Pickles said: “Currently, 14 vets have been interviewed for the critical incident study and common themes surrounding ‘good’ and ‘difficult’ days are beginning to emerge.

“However, farm and equine veterinary surgeon participants have been under-represented to date and, to ensure that conclusions drawn are applicable to all vets not just those in companion animal practice, we are keen to interview more large animal practitioners.

“The interviews are conducted via video call on Microsoft Teams or via phone call and take approximately 30 to 40 minutes. The study has undergone ethical review at the University of Nottingham and all data will be anonymised and treated confidentially.”

If you are interested in participating in the study, please email