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Phlebology. 2012 Jun;27(4):173-8. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2011.011013. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Interpretation of patient-reported outcome measures for varicose vein surgery.

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Northern Vascular Unit, University of Newcastle, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN, UK.



Since 2009 the National Health Service (NHS) has been collecting patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) following varicose vein interventions. The objective of this manuscript was to interrogate the one-year PROMs data with respect to varicose vein intervention and to discuss its potential impact on the provision of service.


We interrogated the one-year PROMs data with respect to potential impact on the provision of service.


In total, 37,521 varicose vein operations were performed during the study period (1 April 2009-30 April 2010). A total of 15,808 preoperative questionnaires were completed and returned and 12,509 were linked to Hospital Episode Statistics episodes. A total of 8127 postoperative questionnaires were completed and linked to the preoperative questionnaires. For the EuroQuol (EQ) 5D questionnaire average preoperative score across the completed data-set was 0.773. The postoperative health gain was 0.094. Fifty-three percent of patients had improved postoperative scores, 33% reported no change, while 14% reported a reduction in their postoperative EQ-5D score. Pain/discomfort was the only domain where patients reported any negative symptoms; 72% (5390) reported pain/discomfort preoperatively and 37% (2804) postoperatively. In total, 62.6% (4685) reported no pain/discomfort following surgery A total of 7167 complete, linked and eligible data-sets were observed for the Aberdeen Varicose Vein Questionnaire (AVVQ). The average preoperative score was 18.75. The average postoperative score was 10.76. This represented a reduction in symptom scores of one-half following intervention. The lowest improvements were witnessed in patients with the lowest preoperative scores (least severe symptoms). Additional postoperative questions highlighted the improvements conferred from varicose vein surgery with 90.3% of patients reporting an improvement in their problems from varicose veins following surgery and 85% describing their operative results as excellent, very good or good.


These data have shown variable improvements following venous interventions. PROMs are likely to have significant implications for health care in the NHS on a number of levels including provision of funding and future planning of services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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