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2023 Feb 03


A prospective survey study on the education and awareness about walking exercise amongst inpatients with symptomatic peripheral arterial disease in Germany.


Li Y, Rother U, Rosenberg Y, Hinterseher I, Uhl C, Mylonas S, Grambow E, Gombert A, Busch A, Bresler A, Öz T, Görtz H, Pfister K, Dovzhanskiy D, Trenner M, Behrendt C-A
Vasa. 2023 Feb 03.
PMID: 36734257.


To determine the adherence to supervised exercise training and underlying reasons for non-adherence amongst patients with inpatient treatment of symptomatic lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This was a prospective questionnaire-based survey study of all consecutively treated inpatients with treatment for either intermittent claudication or chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI) surveyed at sixteen participating centres in Germany. A total of 235 patients (median age 70 years) were included, thereof 29.4% females and 34.6% with CLTI. The median time from first PAD diagnosis was 4 years (IQR: 1-8). Only 11.4% have previously participated in any walking exercise programme before the index treatment, thereby 10.0% in the IC subgroup and 12.0% with CLTI. Amongst all patients, 35.6% responded they were appropriately informed about the necessity and benefits of walking exercise programmes by their hospital physicians (25.8% by general practitioners), and 65.3% agreed that adherence to supervised exercise may improve their pain-free walking distance. A total of 24.5% responded they had access to necessary information concerning local walking exercise programmes. Amongst 127 free text comments on the reasons for non-adherence to supervised exercise training, 64% of the comments contained lack of information or consent on such measures. Less than 12% of the patients enrolled in the current study have ever participated in a walking exercise programme during their life course. Although all practice guidelines contain corresponding class I recommendations, especially for patients suffering from IC, most patients responded that they were not appropriately informed about the necessity of exercise training along with the fact that 65% agreed that exercise may increase the pain-free walking distance. Taken all together, these results emphasise that we miss an important opportunity in the patient-physician communication. Efforts should be made to improve acceptance and application of structured walking-exercise for patients with PAD.