Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 35–41 | Cite as

Understanding patients’ care barriers in the treatment of venous thromboembolism

  • Timothy Pulleyn
  • Kibum Kim
  • Daniel M. WittEmail author
  • Michael Feehan
  • Mark A. Munger


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major health care problem. There are common barriers to quality healthcare but are these barriers the same for VTE patients? A national online survey was administered to adults who had experienced a recent VTE event. The survey assessed perceptions of VTE care barriers: (1) Difficulty to meet healthcare costs related to VTE care; (2) difficulty to meet costs for VTE prescription medications; (3) difficulty with transportation to get VTE care; and (4) the degree of support of others needed to get VTE care. Each question was correlated with patient demographics including income level, place of residence, current work status, and health insurance; care related patient harms experienced with the VTE episode; number of lifetime VTE events; beliefs concerning VTE outcomes, and oral anticoagulant therapy type. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the effect of independent variables on barriers to VTE care. Approximately 30% of VTE patients reported at least one significant barrier to VTE care. Patients rated healthcare costs and VTE prescription medication costs mildly difficult. The odds of reporting barriers were positively associated with the number of DVTs experienced in the previous 2 years. VTE-related depression was also moderately associated with increased odds of reporting significant VTE care barriers. Nearly 1 in 3 VTE sufferers reported significant barriers to VTE care, with healthcare costs and VTE medication costs being the most common. Efforts to identify patients who may experience barriers should be sought early in care.


Venous thromboembolism Care barriers Survey Anticoagulation Deep vein thrombosis Pulmonary embolism 


Author contributions

All authors fully contributed to the content of this manuscript, including meeting the four criteria of the Internal Committee of Medical Journal Editors. All authors had full access to all of the data in the study and take full responsibility for the integrity of the work and accuracy of the data analysis, from inception to published article.


Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change; Bristol-Myers-Squibb Independent Medical Education; and The Joint Commission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Feehan has consulted for Pfizer previously. The other authors have no conflicts of interest associated with the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacotherapyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Kantar LLCSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Internal MedicineUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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