Recording of body weight and body condition score of cats in electronic health records from UK veterinary practices

Taylor, Samantha, Roberts, Georgina, Evans, Marcus and German, Alexander J ORCID: 0000-0002-3017-7988
(2022) Recording of body weight and body condition score of cats in electronic health records from UK veterinary practices. JOURNAL OF FELINE MEDICINE AND SURGERY, 24 (10). E380-E393.

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<h4>Objectives</h4>The aim of this study was to determine how frequently body weight, body condition score (BCS) and terms pertaining to weight status are recorded in the electronic health records (EHRs) of veterinary practices in the UK, as well as to examine the variables affecting recording and associated with body weight, where recorded.<h4>Methods</h4>Data recorded in EHRs were searched in two 3-month periods in 2019 and 2020. For each visit, variables including type and time of consultation, signalment, recording of body weight, recording of BCS, weight (kg), BCS value and whether an overweight or weight-loss term was used in free text were recorded. Linear mixed-effects models were created to examine associations between body weight and variables, while mixed-effects logistic regression was used to determine associations between the same variables and weight or BCS recording.<h4>Results</h4>The statistical data set comprised 129,076 visits from 129,076 cats at 361 practices. Weight was recorded at most (95.2%) visits, BCS was recorded at only 22.5% of visits, and terms associated with weight loss and overweight status were recorded in 10.0% and 7.2% of free-text records, respectively. Where BCS was recorded, approximately one-third of cats had an overweight score (8.0% of total visits). Using either an overweight term (<i>P</i> <0.001) or weight-loss term (<i>P</i> <0.001) was associated with increased odds of body weight being recorded, while being an out-of-hours (<i>P</i> <0.001) or non-routine consultation (<i>P</i> <0.001) were associated with decreased odds. Increasing age (<i>P</i> <0.001), using a weight-loss term (<i>P</i> <0.001) and using an overweight term (<i>P</i> <0.001) were associated with increased odds of BCS being recorded, while being a non-routine consultation (<i>P</i> <0.001) was associated with decreased odds. Recording BCS was negatively associated with recording body weight and vice versa.<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>Cats are regularly weighed in UK practice, but BCS is less frequently recorded, and both are less often recorded in non-routine consultations. To improve both the treatment and assessment of health and nutrition in cats, veterinary professionals should record body weight and BCS concurrently at every consultation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Overweight, obesity, consultations, body condition score, body weight, weight loss
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 09:53
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 20:41
DOI: 10.1177/1098612X221117348
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