Factors associated with preference of choice of aortic aneurysm repair in the PReference for Open Versus Endovascular repair of AAA (PROVE-AAA) study

J Vasc Surg. 2022 Dec;76(6):1556-1564. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2022.06.018. Epub 2022 Jul 19.


Objective: Patients can choose between open repair and endovascular repair (EVAR) of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). However, the factors associated with patient preference for one repair type over another are not well-characterized. Here we assess the factors associated with preference of choice for open or endovascular AAA repair among veterans exposed to a decision aid to help with choosing surgical treatment.

Methods: Across 12 Veterans Affairs hospitals, veterans received a decision aid covering domains including patient information sources and understanding preference. Veterans were then given a series of surveys at different timepoints examining their preferences for open versus endovascular AAA repair. Questions from the preference survey were used in analyses of patient preference. Results were analyzed using χ2 tests. A logistic regression analysis was performed to assess factors associated with preference for open repair or preference for EVAR.

Results: A total of 126 veterans received a decision aid informing them of their treatment choices, after which 121 completed all preference survey questions; five veterans completed only part of the instruments. Overall, veterans who preferred open repair were typically younger (70 years vs 73 years; P = .02), with similar rates of common comorbidities (coronary disease 16% vs 28%; P = .21), and similar aneurysms compared with those who preferred EVAR (6.0 cm vs 5.7 cm; P = .50). Veterans in both preference categories (28% of veterans preferring EVAR, 48% of veterans preferring open repair) reported taking their doctor's advice as the top box response for the single most important factor influencing their decision. When comparing the tradeoff between less invasive surgery and higher risk of long-term complications, more than one-half of veterans preferring EVAR reported invasiveness as more important compared with approximately 1 in 10 of those preferring open repair (53% vs 12%; P < .001). Shorter recovery was an important factor for the EVAR group (74%) and not important in the open repair group (76%) (P = .5). In multivariable analyses, valuing a short hospital stay (odds ratio, 12.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-135.70) and valuing a shorter recovery (odds ratio, 15.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-240.20) were associated with a greater odds of preference for EVAR, whereas finding these characteristics not important was associated with a greater odds of preference for open repair.

Conclusions: When faced with the decision of open repair versus EVAR, veterans who valued a shorter hospital stay and a shorter recovery were more likely to prefer EVAR, whereas those more concerned about long-term complications preferred an open repair. Veterans typically value the advice of their surgeon over their own beliefs and preferences. These findings need to be considered by surgeons as they guide their patients to a shared decision.

Keywords: Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Decision aid; EVAR; Shared decision-making.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / surgery
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Selection
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome