When it comes to veterinary care, barriers to access, including a lack of trust on the part of dog owners,  play a bigger role than differences in race, gender, or socioeconomic status, according to a new study. Findings could help veterinarians develop outreach strategies for underserved communities.

“I was interested in how different demographic groups viewed health care and how those views might affect relationships between veterinarians and their clients,” says study first author Rachel Park, a PhD student at North Carolina State University. “The existing literature wasn’t national in scope and hadn’t accounted for multiple identities held, such as one’s socioeconomic status or education, so I saw a knowledge gap that could be filled.”

For the study in Veterinary Sciences, Park used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to conduct an online survey of 858 self-identified dog…

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