Background: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the narrowing of arteries in the extremities due to atherosclerosis. The most common symptom of PAD is intermittent claudication (IC), which describes pain and fatigue in the muscles that occurs during physical activity and is relieved by rest. Supervised exercise therapy (SET) is an exercise-based therapy that demonstrates efficacy in the treatment of symptomatic PAD. SET programs consist of walking exercises in which patients alternate between walking to claudication and rest; studies indicate that it is recommended as the initial treatment to relieve IC in PAD patients. Objective: This study determines if the Parkview Health PAD walking program alleviates PAD-related symptoms, improves subjective quality of life, and diminishes the need for clinical intervention in patients living with peripheral artery disease. Methods & Design: A retrospective chart review of 10 PAD patients who enrolled in the SET program at Parkview Regional Medical Center or Parkview Randallia was conducted to assess patient outcomes and evaluate the therapeutic benefits of the newly established program. Results: Three of 10 (30%) patients completed the SET program, attending sessions for at least 12 weeks; none of these patients required PAD-related surgical intervention after beginning SET. Five of 10 patients required intervention prior to SET, but only one (20%) of them required a second intervention after starting SET. Following the initiation of SET, only two out of the sample of 10 patients (20%) underwent clinical interventions. Conclusions: Supervised exercise therapy (SET) is an effective method of treating symptoms of intermittent claudication in PAD patients. This study demonstrates a trend that enrollment in a SET program improves patient outcomes, limiting the need for surgical intervention.

Greater implementation of SET in surrounding areas and increased awareness of this therapy is essential to maximize therapeutic outcomes for patients with PAD.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

IU School of Medicine Student Research Fellowship Program

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