Study seeks fix for blockages
Spotlight on artery health
TOWNSVILLE Hospital is pioneering a new national twoyear study working to develop a program targeted at improving quality- of- life outcomes in patients with blocked leg arteries.
The hospital is working in partnership with James Cook University, and the multi- centre research is also taking place in several other hospitals and universities in different cities in Australia, including Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.
Townsville Hospital and JCU clinical researcher Lisan Yip said the aim of the trial was to look for ways to reduce the need for surgery in patients who have Peripheral Artery Disease, through self- help initiatives.
PAD is a disease where plaque builds up in the arteries
We’re looking at behaviour intervention to help patients deal with the problem
PROF JONATHAN GOLLEDGE
that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs, which can narrow the opportunity for blood flow causing severe pain.
“We currently have 30 people participating in the study who all have experienced blocked leg arteries,” Ms Yip said.
“The participants have been separated into two unidentified groups and we are monitoring people over two years to assess the impact of self- help.”
Ms Yip said over the two years the participants would take part in a variety of short cardiovascular- fitness assessments and balance tests.
“Participants will receive four contacts with specially trained staff to help encourage them and provide them with support,” she said.
Professor Jonathan Golledge said PAD was quite prevalent in North Queensland and Townsville Hospital treated up to 300 patients a year.
Prof Golledge said while surgery was still required for some patients, it was hoped the study could reduce the overall numbers long- term.
“We’re looking at behaviour intervention to help patients deal with the problem,” he said.
“You can’t really fix ( PAD) by operating on one localised problem so patients usually come back for repeat operations … so what we’re trying to achieve is an overall holistic self- management approach.”