Paper Type

Master's Thesis


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Dr. Jan Meires

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine M. Robinson

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathaleen C. Bloom

Department Chair

Dr. Lillia Loriz

College Dean

Dr. Pamela Chally


Disparity in access to health care and preventive services places a heavier burden of morbidity on those with limited access and resources. Underserved populations with decreased access to appropriate health screening and therapeutic interventions often present with increased risks for peripheral arterial disease. Some patients with peripheral arterial disease are asymptomatic and may defer treatment while others present with occlusive disease requiring immediate therapy. Delaying diagnosis and treatment reduces quality of life and functional status. The prevalence of peripheral arterial disease has been extensively studied in the elderly population but the prevalence in the high-risk underserved population is unknown. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease in an underserved, high-risk, predominantly African American population and to determine if providers using an electronic blood pressure machine could accurately measure the ankle-brachial index. The sample population of forty adult residents at a homeless shelter in northeast Florida was screened for peripheral arterial disease. Inclusion criteria consisted of a diagnosis of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes or a history of smoking. The ankle-brachial index was assessed using the vascular Doppler method and an electronic blood pressure machine though the latter was found to be an insensitive screening tool. The ankle-brachial index, the San Diego Claudication Questionnaire and a physical assessment were used in this crosssectional study to determine the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease. An abnormal ankle-brachial index value (≤ 0.90), indicating a high suspicion of peripheral arterial disease, was assessed in 22.5% of the sample population, all of whom were found to have a history of smoking crack cocaine.

Included in

Nursing Commons