Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) impose a major public health burden, affecting up to 600,000 individuals and accounting for approximately 100,000 deaths in the United States each year. There is a 10‐fold increased risk for DVT/PE among hospitalized patients and up to a 6‐fold increased risk for DVT/PE among oncology patients. The goal of this study was to compare DVT/PE awareness between the general public and at‐risk hospitalized and oncology patients.
A national DVT/PE awareness survey was conducted among a representative cross‐section of 500 adults > 20 years old participating in online research panels. For comparison, the same survey was conducted among hospitalized patients and oncology patients. The hospital patient sample included 500 adults > 20 years screened from an online panel and admitted to a hospital for more than 3 days within 12 months of sampling. The oncology group included 500 adults > 20 years screened from an online research panel and on active cancer treatment or with a cancer diagnosis or recurrence within 12 months of sampling.
Awareness of DVT/PE among hospitalized and oncology groups was similar to awareness levels seen among the general public or national sample: 28% of hospitalized patients and 24% of oncology patients said they had heard of a medical condition called DVT using this specific term, compared with 21% of the national sample; 15% of both the hospitalized and oncology groups said they had heard of a medical condition called PE using this specific term, compared with 16% of the national sample. Among national respondents aware of what a deep vein thrombosis is (n = 206), more than half (53%) said they could name DVT risk factors. In comparison, among hospitalized (n = 269) and oncology patients (n = 254) aware of what a deep vein thrombosis is, more than 6 in 10 said they could name DVT risk factors. Fewer than half of hospitalized patients who could name DVT risk factors (45%) cited “sitting for a long time” as a risk factor, and 9% cited surgery. Of oncology patients who could name DVT risk factors, 8% cited surgery, and 1% cited some cancer treatment as a risk factor. Among hospitalized and oncology patients able to name DVT risk factors, 63% in each group said they could name DVT signs/symptoms, which is significantly fewer than the 79% of national respondents able to name DVT risk factors after indicating they could name DVT signs/symptoms. About 1 in 3 of all respondents who said they knew what PE stands for or what a PE is said they could name PE signs/symptoms.
Despite increased risks, hospitalized and oncology patients do not demonstrate significantly greater awareness of DVT/PE than the general public. DVT/PE information/awareness interventions should target the general public, with special emphasis on at‐risk patients.
G. Maynard ‐ none; E. Varga ‐ none; J. Ansell ‐ Bayer, Ortho McNeil, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Portola, Daiichi, ITC, Hemo‐Sense, Roche, Instrumentation Laboratories, consultant; Sanofi Aventis, speakers bureau; A. Brownstein ‐ Ortho‐McNeil, Bristol‐Myers Squibb, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKlline, Talacris Biotherapeutics, Lundbeck, Boehringer Ingelheim, HemoSense, QAS, Roche, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Compression Management Services, ITC, Sanofi Aventis, research support; R. Friedman ‐ Johnson and Johnson, DJO Surgical, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Consultant; Astellas US, Boehringer Ingelheim, research support