The effect of structured patient education on physical activity in patients with peripheral arterial disease and intermittent claudication: a systematic review

U.O. Abaraogu*, P.M. Dall, C.A. Seenan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Objectives: The aim was review the components and effects of patient education interventions to improve physical activity (PA) in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and intermittent claudication (IC), and patients’ experiences of these interventions.
Data Sources: CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Ovid, ProQuest, AMED, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science Core Collection, and PEDRO, and Trial registers and directory of Open-Access repository websites and Web of science conference proceedings were searched. Hand searching of reference lists of identified studies was also performed to identify studies that reported the effect of patient education interventions on daily PA and/or walking capacity in individuals with PAD and IC, or studies investigating patients’ experiences of such interventions.
Review Methods: A systematic search was conducted in June 2016 (updated in March 2017). Primary outcomes were daily step count and self-reported PA; the secondary outcome was absolute claudication distance. There was substantial heterogeneity in terms of modalities of patient education in the included studies; hence a narrative synthesis was implemented.
Results: Six studies (1087 participants) were included in the review. Findings from a small number of high-quality trials demonstrated potential for PA improvement with structured education interventions. Nevertheless, evidence is currently inconclusive regarding the effect on daily PA and walking capacity of patients with IC. Patients reported that they valued the interventions studied, finding them acceptable and important in improving their PA, motivating and empowering them to self-manage their condition.
Conclusions: The evidence from the review is limited and inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of structured education for increasing PA in patients with PAD and IC. More rigorous trials are needed before recommendations can be made. Future interventions should consider the key criteria for a structured patient education programme, and also report patients’ experiences and perceptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Early online date18 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017



  • patient education
  • physical activity
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • intermittent claudication
  • systematic review

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