The creation of an international audit and database of equine colic surgery: Survey of attitudes of surgeons

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Reasons for performing study:

Currently, there is a lack of available evidence-based data concerning the optimum treatments for horses affected by different types of colic and this precludes the application of clinical audit in this area. In order to accumulate such data, a large-scale, multicentre database of the outcomes of colic surgery is proposed. The attitudes of surgeons is an important consideration in determining the feasibility of developing this database.


To assess attitudes and opinions of equine surgeons concerning clinical audit and to assess the perceived advantages and problems of setting up a largescale international audit/database of colic surgery.


Interviews were conducted with 30 equine surgeons (large animal/equine surgeons who are diplomates of either the American College of Veterinary Surgeons or the European College of Veterinary Surgeons). Questionnaires were sent by e-mail to 98 equine surgeons.


Face to face interviews were conducted (n = 30) and 43/98 completed questionnaires received (44%). The results of the 2 techniques were very similar. There was generally a high level of interest in the development of a large scale database of colic surgery, but perceived problems included time to collect and submit data, and confidentiality issues. A minority of surgeons reported that they were undertaking any form of specific monitoring of the results of colic surgery within their hospitals.


There is a good level of interest among equine surgeons to develop a large scale database of colic surgery and most would be willing to contribute data from their own hospitals provided that data collection is quick and easy, and that confidentiality is maintained.

Potential relevance:

A large scale audit and database would provide relevant information to equine surgeons concerning the current success and complication rates of colic surgery. Such evidence-based data could be used in clinical audits within individual equine hospitals. The data would also be useful to identify trends within the discipline and could highlight areas that would benefit from active research.

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