Supervised exercise therapy for intermittent claudication is increasingly endorsed by Dutch vascular surgeons

David Hageman, Gert Jan Lauret, Lindy N.M. Gommans, Mark J.W. Koelemay, Marc R.H.M. van Sambeek, Marc R.M. Scheltinga, Joep A.W. Teijink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although supervised exercise therapy (SET) is generally accepted as an effective noninvasive treatment for intermittent claudication (IC), Dutch vascular surgeons were initially somewhat hesitant as reported by a 2011 questionnaire study. Later on, a nationwide multidisciplinary network for SET was introduced in the Netherlands. The aim of this questionnaire study was to determine possible trends in conceptions among Dutch vascular surgeons regarding the prescription of SET. Methods: In the year of 2015, Dutch vascular surgeons, fellows, and senior residents were asked to complete a 26-item questionnaire including issues that were considered relevant for prescribing SET such as patient selection criteria and comorbidity. Outcome was compared to the 2011 survey. Results: Data of 124 respondents (82% males; mean age 46 years; 64% response rate) were analyzed. SET referral rate of new IC patients was not different over time (2015: 81% vs. 2011: 75%; P = 0.295). However, respondents were more willing to prescribe SET in IC patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (2015: 86% vs. 2011: 69%; P = 0.002). Nevertheless, a smaller portion of respondents found that SET was also indicated for aortoiliac disease (2015: 63% vs. 2011: 76%; P = 0.049). Insufficient health insurance coverage and/or personal financial resources were the most important presumed barriers preventing patients from initiating SET (80% of respondents). Moreover, 94% of respondents judged that SET should be fully reimbursed by all Dutch basic health insurances. Conclusions: The concept of SET for IC is nowadays generally embraced by the vast majority of Dutch vascular surgeons. SET may have gained in popularity in IC patients with cardiopulmonary comorbidity. However, SET remains underutilized for aortoiliac disease. Reimbursement is considered crucial for a successful SET implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Exercise Therapy/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance, Health
  • Intermittent Claudication/rehabilitation
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Surgeons
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures
  • Walk Test


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