Vascular disease encompasses a number of different conditions and often impacts greatly on patients’ quality of life (QoL). Several different patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are currently used in the NHS to capture impacts of vascular conditions on QoL. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the signs, symptoms and impacts of five vascular conditions; peripheral arterial disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid arterial disease, varicose veins and venous leg ulcers.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants for each condition. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analysed using framework analysis. Identified signs, symptoms and impact of the conditions were mapped and tabulated.


Fifty-seven participants were included. Nine overarching themes were identified: symptoms, pain, mobility, comorbidities, impact on physical functioning, social impact, psychological impact, financial impact and lifestyle. There was overlap in symptoms reported across the conditions. Patients often adapted their lives to cope with their condition.


This study presented a unique overview of the five conditions, and mapped the common characteristics of symptoms and impacts. The findings indicate an overlap in experience of vascular conditions; nevertheless, there are marked differences of impact on different aspects of QoL. The findings are relevant to both clinicians and the NHS, and have provided a starting point for the development of a PROM for use with vascular patients.