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Finding the balance: Uncovering resilience in the veterinary literature

Cake, M.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0072-9024, McArthur, M.M., Matthew, S.M. and Mansfield, C.F. (2017) Finding the balance: Uncovering resilience in the veterinary literature. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 44 (1). pp. 95-105.

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Resilience is an issue of emerging importance in veterinary education and research, as in other professional contexts. The aim of this study was to perform an appraisal of how resilience is portrayed in the contemporary (1995-present) research and education literature around veterinary mental health, and to attempt a provisional synthesis informing a conception of resilience in the veterinary context. Qualitative analysis of the literature (59 sources included) revealed a dominant emphasis on mental health problems, particularly stress, which outweighs and potentially obscures complementary approaches to well-being and resilience. We found the construct of resilience underdeveloped in the veterinary literature and in need of further research, but provide a preliminary synthesis of key themes emerging from the current literature (emotional competence, motivation, personal resources, social support, organizational culture, life balance, and well-being strategies). We advocate for greater balance between complementary perspectives in veterinary mental health education and research, and propose that an increasing focus on resilience (here endorsed as a dynamic and multi-dimensional process involving personal and contextual resources, strategies, and outcomes) will help to address this balance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
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