Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Trust, feasibility, and priorities influence Swedish dairy farmers' adherence and nonadherence to veterinary advice

Svensson, C.; Lind, N.; Reyher, K. K.; Bard, A. M.; Emanuelson, U.


The problem of nonadherence to advice is recognized in several professional relationships, including the veterinarian-client relationship. A better understanding of farmer perspectives may help to improve efficiency in veterinary herd health management. This study aimed to qualitatively and quantitatively describe farmers' reasons for adherence and nonadherence with veterinary recommendations regarding preventive herd health measures. We carried out structured telephone interviews about implementation of preventive measures with owners or staff of 163 dairy farms and 6 beef farms. The farms had received an advisory visit by their veterinarian (n = 36), who had documented the preventive measures they had recommended. The interviewer noted verbatim responses to reasons for implementing preventive measures fully, partially, or not at all, and we analyzed these responses thematically. We also conducted a quantitative analysis, in which we calculated descriptive statistics of the proportions of different categories of reasons stated by the farmers. Altogether, 726 preventive measures (range per farm 1 to 17; median 3; interquartile range 2 to 6) were documented. We identified 3 organizing themes related to adherence or nonadherence with veterinary advice: trust, feasibility, and priorities. Overall, the most commonly stated reasons related to trust (in the veterinarian, in the advisory process, or in individual preventive measures). The most common reasons not to follow the recommended advice were related to feasibility. Based on the results, we recommend that, to improve adherence to their advice, veterinarians pay increased attention to farmers' needs, priorities, goals, and motives, as well as to farmers' perceptions of the effectiveness of individual preventive measures. We also recommend that veterinarians need to increase their focus on recommending preventive measures that are practically feasible to implement on farms.


compliance; implementation; reason; veterinary herd health management

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2019, volume: 102, number: 11, pages: 10360-10368

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Reyher, K. K.
University of Bristol
Bard, A. M.
University of Bristol
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)