When is Supervised Exercise Therapy Considered Useful in Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease? A Nationwide Survey among Vascular Surgeons

G. J. Lauret, H. C. van Dalen, H. J. Hendriks, S. M. van Sterkenburg, M. J. Koelemay, C. J. Zeebregts, R.J. Peters, J. A. Teijink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: Although international guidelines state that supervised exercise therapy (SET) should be offered to all patients with intermittent claudication (IC), SET appears to be underutilised in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to document current opinions of Dutch vascular surgeons on SET as treatment option for peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD). Materials and methods: Vascular surgeons and fellows in vascular surgery were asked to complete a 24-question survey either at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Dutch Society for Vascular Surgery or online. Results: Ninety-one participants, including 83 vascular surgeons (51% of all Dutch vascular surgeons), completed the survey. The respondents would refer 75.4% of newly diagnosed patients with IC for SET. SET was considered less useful in patients with IC and major (cardiopulmonary) co-morbidity or a significant iliac artery stenosis. In critical limb ischaemia, the combination of SET and angioplasty was considered useful in 71.9%. Respondents regarded patient satisfaction (63.3%) and improvement in pain-free or maximal walking ability (26.6%) as clinically most relevant goals of SET. Most (84.4%) agreed that SET should also include lifestyle management. Conclusion: Although the vast majority of Dutch vascular surgeons consider SET as an important treatment option for PAOD, SET should receive more emphasis in clinical practice since arguments not to refer for SET are outdated. Furthermore, vascular surgeons agree that lifestyle management should be integrated in SET.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-312
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Supervised exercise therapy
  • Peripheral arterial occlusive disease
  • Intermittent claudication
  • Lifestyle coaching

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