Pia Keller


I obtained my master in veterinary medicine at the University of Ghent in 2014. After graduation I worked as a veterinarian in the field for horses, small animals and small ruminants. In 2017 I started to work as a Junior Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance Officer for different pharmaceutical companies. In September 2018 I was given the opportunity to start as a researcher in the fascinating field of communication in veterinary medicine. My research is focused on the communication between veterinarians and owners, particularly with regard to complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM), a subject which veterinarians often find difficult to tackle.

PhD Project

During the first part of this PhD project the attitude of Belgian horse owners towards CAVM and communication about CAVM with their veterinarians will be investigated using an online survey and focus-group interviews. Development and analysis of the survey take place in cooperation with prof. Liselot Hudders. Horse owners have been asked whether they are familiar with or have used the CAVM for their horses, their reasons for CAVM use, whether they discussed this with their regular veterinarian and why (not). The online survey will be followed by focus group interviews with horse owners for further exploration of their behavior regarding CAVM. Secondly the attitude of veterinarians towards the use of CAVM will be investigated. We will look into their experiences with CAVM and their communication with clients about it. With this study we aim to identify the veterinarian factors influencing CAVM discussions. Furthermore communication patterns of veterinarians and CAVM practitioners about CAVM will be analyzed. In the final stage of the PhD project a training program for veterinarians will be developed to improve their communication skills about CAVM.

Supervisors: Annelies Decloedt and Liselot Hudders



Faculteit Diergeneeskunde
Dienst Inwendige Ziekten Grote Huisdieren Ingang 7
Salisburylaan 133
B-9820 Merelbeke