Sunday, July 29, 2007

Vascular Research

Vascular Surgery
Week 6

Vascular Research Project

My research project looks at the outcomes of vascular procedures in women. My surgeon mentor and others think that there may be a relationship between the outcomes of vascular procedures and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), osteoporosis, and menopause. “Outcome” is defined as patency—that is whether or not a vessel is open at a follow-up visit after surgery. After writing a script that was approved by the surgeons in charge, I called a list of about 300 elderly female patients (average age = 76) to ask them about HRT, osteoporosis, and menopause. Awesome!

The Patients

Some women were surprisingly sharp and inquisitive and really opened up to me over the phone. The responses were understandably colorful—if the patient felt better they exalted their surgeon while some patients with poor outcomes told me they had found new surgeons and hospitals entirely. Often the same surgeon was regarded in both positive and negative ways. This is understandable considering the variable difficulty in treatment that occurs between patients and procedures.

One thing that surprised me was that patients were very willing to open up to me over the phone—I heard some fascinating life stories. Alternatively some patients would not talk to me at all—they didn’t trust that I was calling from New York Presbyterian Hospital and requested a written questionnaire while others could only speak in Spanish. Other difficulties like disconnected telephone numbers and no answers left the respondents to about 30%. From these patients I got some interesting data regarding patency, HRT, and osteoporosis—really interesting data…that I can’t show you here because it might get published! Stay Tuned!

No comments: