Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - Disease or a Defect - Patients’ Perceptions of Aortic Aneurysm in the Presence of Multimorbidity

Chalotte Winther Nicolajsen*, Mette Søgaard, Nikolaj Eldrup, Rikke Boeriis Leth Mikkelsen, Anette Arbjerg Højen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Objectives: Abdominal aortic aneurysm is associated with substantial comorbidity and significant long-term mortality. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors and smoking cessation improves prognosis, but implementation of recommendations is suboptimal. Patient's disease-awareness and level of multimorbidity are important factors affecting treatment- adherence. This study explored the perception of disease in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms and multimorbidity. Methods: In a qualitative design we assessed patients’ perception of aortic aneurysms in the presence of multimorbidity and cardiovascular risk factors. We conducted a workshop including patients from the aneurysm ultrasound-surveillance-program at a tertiary vascular department. Data from the workshop were analyzed using a qualitative exploratory design with an inductive approach. Results: A total of 10 patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm and multimorbidity participated in the workshop. Three categories describing the patient's perception of disease emerged from the analysis. (1) Abdominal aortic aneurysm is not a disease; it is a defect, (2) Someone else is in control, (3) Abdominal aortic aneurysm is an isolated condition. Conclusion: Patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms and multimorbidity did not perceive their aneurysm as a disease, but merely as a bodily defect. Growth and rupture of the aneurysm were the main concerns related to the condition, and the participants relied solely on the health professionals to control this by regular ultrasound-surveillance. Consequently, the participants did not perceive abdominal aortic aneurysm as a motivation for cardiovascular risk factor modification by optimization in medication or smoking-cessation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.


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