A Review of Illness Perceptions in Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia: Current Knowledge Gaps and a Framework for Future Studies

Published:August 23, 2022DOI:


      The aim of this study is to review illness perceptions (IPs) in chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) patients undergoing revascularization (open surgical or endovascular), major lower extremity amputation, or conservative management.


      MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, WOS, and Scopus databases were searched from inception to August 20, 2021 for studies evaluating IP in CLTI according to Leventhal’s common sense model (CSM). Since only 1 study was identified, a post hoc secondary literature search of MEDLINE was performed for reviews of IP in cardiovascular disease and diabetes to identify potential learning points for future research. All studies underwent narrative synthesis guided by tabulated data.


      One study and 7 reviews were included from the primary and secondary literature searches, respectively. Timeline and controllability were the main aspects of IP that predict prosthetic use in CLTI patients, more so at 6 months than 1 month. Other reviews in cardiovascular disease and diabetes identified important targets for future research: (1) factors that affect IP and whether IP can be used as an outcome measure, (2) relationship between IP and clinician-reported and patient-reported outcomes, and (3) methods to educate and change maladaptive IP. The importance of using valid and reliable measures of IP that encompass all components of Leventhal’s’ CSM was stressed.


      Knowledge of IP in CLTI patients is severely limited in contrast to other fields in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This review helps to close this gap by raising awareness of IP and its importance within the vascular surgical community, and by providing a framework for future studies.
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