National survey of current practice and opinions on rehabilitation for intermittent claudication in the Danish Public Healthcare System

Janne Dyrby Jensen, Lars H Tang, Ann-Dorthe O Zwisler, Kim C Houlind, Søren T Skou

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Abstrakt

Objective. International guidelines recommend rehabilitation including supervised exercise therapy in patients with Intermittent Claudication (IC), but knowledge of the implementation in clinical practice is limited. This study aims to investigate current practice and opinions on rehabilitation for patients with IC among vascular surgeons and rehabilitation departments in the municipalities and hospitals. Design. Three electronic cross-sectional surveys were distributed nationally to the Danish vascular surgeons (n?=?131) and to rehabilitation departments in the municipalities (n?=?92) and hospitals (n?=?33). Results. The response rates were 70% among the vascular surgeons, 98% among the municipalities and 94% among the hospitals. Vascular surgeons utilize oral advice to exercise by self-administered walking, pharmacological treatment, and revascularization to improve walking distance in patients with IC. Currently, only 12% of the vascular surgeons referred to rehabilitation to improve walking distance, while almost all vascular surgeons (96%) would refer their patients to IC rehabilitation, if it was available. Only 14% of municipalities and none of the hospitals, who treat patients with IC, have a rehabilitation program designed specifically for patients with IC. However, 59% of the rehabilitation departments in the municipalities and 26% in the hospitals included patients with IC in rehabilitation program designed for other patient groups - mostly cardiac patients. There was consensus among the groups of respondents that future IC specific rehabilitation should include an initial conversation, supervised exercise therapy, smoking cessation, and patient education according to guidelines. Conclusion. Vascular surgeons support referral and participation in IC rehabilitation to improve walking distance in patients with IC. Despite some hospitals and municipalities included patients with IC in rehabilitation nearly all services fail to meet current guideline as specific services tailored to patient with IC is almost non-existent in Denmark. Our findings call for action for services to comply with current recommendations of structured, systematic rehabilitation for patients with IC.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Sider (fra-til)361-372
Antal sider12
TidsskriftScandinavian Cardiovascular Journal
Vol/bind53
Udgave nummer6
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2 nov. 2019

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