High INtensity Interval Training in pATiEnts with Intermittent Claudication: A Qualitative Acceptability Study

Sean A Pymer, A E Harwood, Saïd Ibeggazene, Gordon McGregor, Chao Huang, A R Nicholls, Lee Ingle, Judith Long , Marjorie Rooms, Ian C Chetter, Maureen Twiddy

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INTRODUCTION: A novel high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programme has demonstrated feasibility for patients with intermittent claudication (IC). The aim of this study was to explore patient perspectives of the HIIT programme to inform refinement and future research.

METHODS: All patients screened and eligible for the 'high intensity interval training in patients with intermittent claudication (INITIATE)' study, were eligible to take part in a semi-structured interview. A convenience subsample of patients was selected from three distinct groups: 1) those who completed the HIIT programme, 2) those who prematurely discontinued the HIIT programme and 3) those who declined the HIIT programme. Interviews considered patients views of the programme and experiences of undertaking and/or being invited to undertake it. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed via thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Eleven out of 31 participants who completed the programme and twelve out of 38 decliners were interviewed. No participants who withdrew from the programme agreed to interview. The three key themes were; personal reflections of the programme; programme facilitators and barriers; and perceived benefits. Completers enjoyed taking part, reported symptomatic improvement and would complete it again. Practical and psychological barriers exist, such as transport and motivation. Changes to the programme were suggested.

CONCLUSION: Findings support the acceptability of this novel HIIT programme, which in combination with the feasibility findings, suggest that a fully powered randomised controlled trial, comparing HIIT to usual-care supervised exercise programmes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
Early online date30 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024

Bibliographical note

2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access
article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/


This study is funded by the NIHR [Research for Patient Benefit program ( PB-PG-0418-20014 )]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © 2024 The Author(s)


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