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Ann Vasc Surg. 2014 Apr;28(3):644-50. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2013.05.012. Epub 2013 Dec 15.

A novel finding: the effect of nurse practitioners on the relation to quality of life, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in vascular surgery.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Amphia Hospital, Breda, The Netherlands.
  • 2Department of Medical Psychology, Tilburg University and St. Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
  • 3Department of Vascular Surgery, Amphia Hospital, Breda, The Netherlands.
  • 4Amphia Academy, Amphia Hospital, Breda, The Netherlands.
  • 5Department of Surgery, Amphia Hospital, Breda, The Netherlands. Electronic address:



An increasing number of vascular surgery units expand their team with nurse practitioners (NPs) to optimize patient care. There are no previously performed studies which assessed the influence of NPs on patients' quality of life (QoL), anxiety, and depressive symptom levels. The transition in care from surgeon to NP in the vascular surgery unit of our hospital facilitated the comparison of both groups.


A prospective study was undertaken to analyze the effect of NPs on QoL, anxiety, and depressive symptom scores. Two groups were analyzed: a group of patients treated by a vascular surgeon alone (surgeon group) and a group of patients treated by a NP supervised by a vascular surgeon (NP group). Patients completed the short version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL-BREF), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) questionnaires both before and after intervention.


Two hundred fourteen patients were included in our study. Within groups, there was a significant increase in physical QoL, with 5.2 points in the surgeon group and 4.4 points in the NP group. There was a significant decrease in anxiety scores (-3.8 points in the surgeon group and -5.4 points in the NP group). No differences were found for depressive symptoms. Between groups, no differences were found.


The same improvements were found for QoL and anxiety scores in both groups. Vascular NPs are therefore competent to explain procedures and guide patients through vascular interventions.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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