OBJECTIVES: Although the practice of physical exercise in patients with intermittent claudication (IC) is often encouraged, adherence is low. The difficulty in performing physical training may be related to the psychological characteristics of patients with claudication. To verify the association between anxiety and depression symptoms and barriers to physical exercise and walking capacity in patients with IC. METHODS: One-hundred and thirteen patients with a clinical diagnosis of IC were included in the study. Patients underwent clinical evaluation by a vascular surgeon, answered the Beck Depression Inventory, and Beck Anxiety Inventory tests were applied by the psychologist. The patients performed the 6-minute test and reported their barriers to physical activity practice in a questionnaire. RESULTS: Patients with signs of depression had a shorter pain-free walking distance (p=0.015) and total walking distance (p=0.035) compared to patients with no signs of depression. Pain-free walking distance (p=0.29) and total walking distance (p=0.07) were similar between patients with and without signs of anxiety. Patients with symptoms of moderate to severe depression reported more barriers to physical activity practice compared to patients without signs of depression. CONCLUSION: Symptoms of anxiety and depression are prevalent among patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD). Depression symptoms are associated with personal barriers to exercise, while anxiety symptoms are not. The main barriers to physical activity among patients with IC are exercise-induced pain and the presence of other diseases.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyze the relationship between gait speed and measurements of physical function in patients with symptomatic peripheral artery disease (PAD). METHODS: One hundred sixty-nine patients (age 66.6±9.4 years) with symptomatic PAD were recruited. Usual and fast gait speeds were assessed with a 4-meter walk test. Objective (balance, sit-to-stand, handrip strength, and six-minute walk test) and subjective (WIQ - Walking Impairment Questionnaire and WELCH - Walking Estimated-Limitation Calculated by History) measurements of physical function were obtained. Crude and adjusted linear regression analyses were used to confirm significant associations. RESULTS: Usual and fast gait speeds were significantly correlated with all objective and subjective physical function variables examined (r<0.55, p<0.05). In the multivariate model, usual gait speed was associated with six-minute walking distance (β=0.001, p<0.001), sit-to-stand test score (β=-0.005, p=0.012), and WIQ stairs score (β=0.002, p=0.006) adjusted by age, ankle brachial index, body mass index, and gender. Fast gait speed was associated with six-minute walking distance (β=0.002, p<0.001), WIQ stairs score (β=0.003, p=0.010), and WELCH total score (β=0.004, p=0.026) adjusted by age, ankle brachial index, body mass index, and gender. CONCLUSION: Usual and fast gait speeds assessed with the 4-meter test were moderately associated with objective and subjective measurements of physical function in symptomatic PAD patients.