Identifying gaps in disease knowledge among patients with peripheral artery disease

Nina Byskosh, Vivek Pamulapati, Shujun Xu, Ashley K. Vavra, Andrew W. Hoel, Lu Tian, Mary M. McDermott, Zeeshan Butt, Karen J. Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: An individual's understanding of disease risk factors and outcomes is important for the ability to make healthy lifestyle choices and decisions about disease treatment. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition with increasing global prevalence and high risk of adverse patient outcomes. This study seeks to understand the adequacy of disease understanding in patients with PAD. Methods: This was an observational study of patients with PAD recruited from vascular surgery outpatient clinic and PAD clinical studies at a single academic medical center over an 8-month period. A 44-item paper survey assessed demographic and socioeconomic information, knowledge of personal medical history, PAD risk factors, consequences of PAD, and health education preferences. Patients with documented presence of PAD were offered the survey. Patients unable to complete the survey or provide informed consent were not considered eligible. Disease “awareness” was defined as correct acknowledgement of the presence or absence of a disease, including PAD, in the personal medical history. “PAD knowledge score” was the percentage of correct responses to questions on general PAD risk factors and consequences. Of 126 eligible patients, 109 participated. Bivariate analysis was used to study factors associated with awareness of PAD diagnosis. Factors associated with the PAD knowledge score were studied using the Pearson correlation coefficient, two-sample t test, or one-way analysis of variance. P value < .05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean participant age was 69.4 ± 11.0 years, and 39.4% (n = 43) were female. Most participants (78.9%; n = 86) had critical limb-threatening ischemia. Only 65.4% (n = 70) of participants were aware of a diagnosis of PAD, which was less than their awareness of related comorbidities. Factors positively associated with PAD diagnosis awareness were female sex (81.4% vs 54.7%; P = .004) and history of percutaneous leg revascularization (78.6% vs 47.9%; P = .001). Among 17 patients who had undergone major leg amputation, 35% (n = 6) were unaware of a diagnosis of PAD. PAD knowledge scores correlated positively with an awareness of PAD diagnosis (59.1% vs 48.7%; P = .02) and negatively with a history of hypertension (53.4% vs 68.1%; P = .001). Most participants (86.5%; n = 90) expressed a desire to be further educated on PAD. The most popular education topics were dietary recommendations, causes, and treatment for PAD. Conclusions: Patients with PAD have deficits in their awareness of this diagnosis and general knowledge about PAD. Future research priorities should further define these deficits and their causes in order to inform new strategies that foster information-seeking behavior and effective educational programs for PAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1358-1368.e5
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Patient education
  • Patient participation
  • Peripheral arterial disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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