Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Karen Weis


Lower extremity peripheral arterial disease is a condition that affects approximately 200 million people worldwide and 8 million women and men in the United States (McDermott, 2015). Although there are modifiable risk factors associated with peripheral arterial disease, it is believed to be under-diagnosed and under-treated in the general population (McDermott, 2015). The progression of asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease to symptomatic peripheral arterial disease can be reduced with the introduction of medications and therapeutic lifestyle modifications (Itoga et al., 2018). The purpose of the project was to identify and assess at-risk clinic patients with typical and atypical symptoms for lower extremity peripheral arterial disease. A quality improvement project was conducted to identify high-risk patients for peripheral arterial disease with the diagnoses of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, or tobacco smoker. These patients were screened and assessed for symptoms of peripheral arterial disease. The most common risk factor was hypertension (73.6%) followed by hyperlipidemia (42.5%), smoker (10.3%), and diabetes mellitus (6.9%). Of the 87 patients, 27.6% had more than one of the four risk factors included in the project. All of the patients were screened for typical and atypical symptomology with two patients reporting symptoms of peripheral arterial disease. Both of these patients reported both typical and atypical symptoms. Vascular compromise occurs prior to the presence of symptoms. Early identification and treatment of modifiable risk factors are an important component in the prevention of disease progression.