Table 3

Findings from the primary qualitative study with vascular patients

ConditionSample sizeKey findings
AAA13No physical symptoms, a small number of participants reported abdominal pain and pain in their legs. Uncertainty, anxiety and fear of rupture and death appeared to impact most greatly on people’s QoL.
CAD9This condition seemed to have had the least impact on physical and social function, although psychologically it created a sense of worry and anxiety for some participants. The main reported outcome was fear of having a major stroke.
PAD14Pain and mobility were the most commonly reported themes. The extent to which they impacted on QoL was associated with the severity, age expectations and social support. Fear of the symptoms worsening and amputation was evident.
VV10VV do not appear to have had a major impact on overall QoL for most the participants. Pain was the most common issue. The perceived unpleasant appearance of the VV seemed to have the greatest psychological impact. Many of the participants had had their VV for very long periods of time, often just ‘putting up with it’ for numerous years before seeking help.
VLU10The impact of VLU on QoL differed within the group. For some, there were no major issues, and having a VLU was accepted as part of their current life, with the hope that it would heal eventually. For others, there was a far more significant effect. Pain was quite severe for some participants leading to a significantly reduced QoL. VLU appeared to have a significant psychological impact causing a high degree of distress for some.
  • AAA, abdominal aortic aneurysm; CAD, carotid artery disease; PAD, peripheral arterial disease; QoL, quality of life; VLU, venous leg ulcer; VV, varicose veins.