Peripheral arterial disease diagnosis and management in primary care: a qualitative study

Lecouturier, Jan, Scott, Jason, Rousseau, Nikki, Stansby, Gerard, Sims, Andrew and Allen, John (2019) Peripheral arterial disease diagnosis and management in primary care: a qualitative study. BJGP Open, 3 (3). bjgpopen19X101659. ISSN 2398-3795

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Background: Patients diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and PAD progression. If diagnosed early, cardiovascular risk factors can be treated and the risk of other cardiovascular diseases can be reduced. There are clear guidelines on PAD diagnosis and management, but little is known about the issues faced in primary care with regards adherence to these, and about the impact of these issues on patients. Aim: To identify the issues for primary care health professionals (HPs) and patients in PAD diagnosis and management, and to explore the impact of these on HPs and PAD patients. Design & setting: Qualitative study conducted in a primary care setting in the North East of England. Data was collected between December 2014 and July 2017. Method: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with PAD register patients (n = 17), practice nurses (PNs, n = 17), district nurses (DNs, n = 20), tissue viability nurses (n = 21), and GPs (n = 21). Results: HPs’ attitudes to PAD, difficulty accessing tests, and patient delays impacted upon diagnosis. Some HPs had a reactive approach to PAD identification. Patients lacked understanding about PAD and some reported a delay consulting their GP after the onset of PAD symptoms. After diagnosis, few were attending for regular GP follow-up. Conclusion: Patient education about PAD symptoms and risks, and questioning about exercise tolerance, could address the problem of under-reporting. Annual reviews could provide an opportunity to probe for PAD symptoms and highlight those requiring further investigation. Improved information when PAD is diagnosed and, considering the propensity for patients to tolerate worsening symptoms, the introduction of annual follow-up (at minimum) is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: A300 Clinical Medicine
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 18:33

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