Development of a Health-Related Quality of Life Tool for Bovine Respiratory Disease in Calves

Project Details


The aim of this project is to create a health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) tool for bovine respiratory disease. HRQoL tools capture the experiential or affective component of disease, and are increasingly being used in human and companion animal medicine as a means of assessing the efficacy of treatment strategies, often alongside physiological measures. The aim of this study is to develop a tool for use in bovine respiratory disease (BRD) for calves. BRD is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in calves. There are four major steps in developing a HRQoL tool. This proposal covers steps 2-4 in the process. The first step involves generating ‘items’ or indicators that can be used to assess an animal’s experience of disease (or the impact of alternative treatment and/or management strategies) and the classification of these items in ‘domains’ describing wider classes of outcomes. This step is achieved by reviewing the literature and interviewing experts to define items and domains relevant to calf BRD. For BRD in calves, this step has been done at the Royal Agricultural University College (RAUC) by Prof David Main and team. The second step involves creating scales to assess these items in calves, and using 'cognitive interviews' with experts to assess the validity of these scales and the content validity of the overall assessment tool (ie does the tool contain all relevant indicator or are any redundant). This will be carried out as an on-line survey using appropriate software that allows qualitative and quantitative responses to be gathered from experts. The third step is to construct a draft tool and to use it in practice. This will be done at the Dairy Research Centre with 8-10 experts. The fourth step is to validate the new tool. This will involve a calf trial using 100 calves, where the output from the new tool is compared to other assessments of health and welfare. We will use Wisconsin Scoring (the 'gold standard' in clinical health scoring for calves) and data on feeding and activity that we have shown to be indicative of disease in previous research.
Short titleHRQoL tool for calves
Effective start/end date1/11/201/10/21


  • calf disease
  • quality of life


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.