Refractory angina – thesis to be defended

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) treatment has shown to be a potential treatment for patients with RAP, and it is recommended in the European guidelines for symptom relief in patients with debilitating angina refractory to optimal medical and revascularisation strategies. In Sweden, only two ongoing EECP clinics have been established, and the awareness of EECP as a treatment option for patients with RAP is insufficient among healthcare professionals in general. The treatment can be an attractive option since it is non-invasive and can be conducted by nurses at an outpatient clinic. Therefore, it is important to increase and deepen the knowledge of EECP treatment and increase the evidence of its applicability and effects.

Eline Wu works as a cardiac nurse at the Heart and Vascular Theme at Karolinska University in Stockholm. Eline has had professor Anders Broström and professor Jan Mårtensson as her supervisors since her master’s degree. On Friday, November 19th, 2021, she will defend her doctoral thesis focusing on Enhanced external counterpulsation treatment in patients with refractory angina pectoris.

The research was conducted through qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings presented in this thesis provide insight into how patients with RAP experienced the situation before, during, between sessions, and after an EECP treatment. The thesis also demonstrates that patients received several beneficial effects from treatment. Moreover, patients with more significant functional impairment, evidence of systolic left ventricular dysfunction, and exposure to fewer types of revascularizations, had three-fold higher odds to receive treatment benefit. Finally, it also demonstrates that the treatment completion rate was high, and the occurrence of adverse events was low. Thus, the treatment can be considered safe and well-tolerated in patients with RAP.