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Person centred abdominal aortic aneurysm study (PCAAAS)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Improving the quality of care for men with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAA) who undergo regular screening: reducing the psychosocial consequences of screening and developing a patient-centred Exit Strategy from surveillance



  • Contact name

    A O'Cathain

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    The University of Sheffield

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 3 months, 31 days

  • Research summary

    AAA is a swelling in the aorta. AAA can increase in size over time and burst. Most people who have a burst AAA die before they get to hospital or do not survive emergency surgery. 4000 people die each year in England and Wales from a burst AAA. The National AAA Screening Programme (NAAASP) offers screening to all men aged 65. There are now 15,000 men ‘in surveillance’, having scans regularly. When men are found to have a large AAA they are offered surgery to stop it bursting.
    There are two challenges to ensure that the benefits of screening outweigh harms. Men, and their partners/family, can suffer anxiety. In the Exit Strategy men are discharged when they have had 15 scans at annual intervals and their AAA remains below 4.5 cm. However, as they get older, men may become unfit for surgery and cannot have treatment or their risk perceptions may change. We need to understand men’s preferences for leaving the surveillance programme.

    We will develop a new intervention to reduce the psychological consequences of screening. We will speak to men ‘in surveillance’ (n=1200) about anxiety. We will identify men with problems and interview them (n=20-24) and their partners/family (n=12-20) about what might help them manage anxiety. We will co-design an intervention to reduce the potential negative effects of being in surveillance.

    We will interview men (n=20-24) ‘in surveillance’ and their partners (n=12-20) about their preferences. Then we will undertake a survey of men ‘in surveillance’ (n=500) to measure their preferences and the intensity of their preferences. We will feed this into NAAASP to help them develop a patient-centred Exit Strategy.

  • REC name

    Wales REC 6

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    8 Feb 2023

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion

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