The patient experience of pulmonary hypertension: A large cross-sectional study of UK patients

Iain Armstrong, Catherine Billings, David G. Kiely, Janelle Yorke, Carl Harries, Shaun Clayton, Wendy Gin-Sing

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA-UK) is the only charity in the UK especially for people affected by pulmonary hypertension (PH). To better understand the impact of PH on patients and carers beyond clinical symptoms, the PHA-UK carried out a cross-sectional survey on the effect of PH on daily living, along with a follow-up survey assessing the financial impact of PH. Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional survey of adult patients with PH in the UK. A quantitative survey of four key topics (time to diagnosis, quality of life [QoL], financial impact and specialist treatment), was made available to PHA-UK members and patients on PH therapy, with a follow-up financial impact survey sent to those responders who agreed to be contacted further. Data collection was carried out in January and February 2017 for the main survey, and November and December 2017 for the financial impact survey. Results: The main survey was completed by 567 individuals, and the financial follow-up survey by 171. Mean age of responders was 69 ± 17 years with 70% female. 60% of respondents said PH had a major impact on their QoL, with 45% reporting that treatment and management improves their QoL 'a lot'. The time between first experiencing symptoms and diagnosis was ≥1 year for 48% of patients, with 40% seeing 4+ doctors before diagnosis. 63% of patients reported financial worries. Patients in part-time and full-time work reported the greatest financial burden, with a 13 and 33% fall in monthly income respectively. Patients had positive experiences of treatment in specialist centres, with 62% rating their care 'excellent', and 92% saying they preferred travelling to a specialist centre rather than seeing a local non-specialist. Conclusions: This study reports the largest UK survey exploring issues affecting patients with PH. The study shows that despite the availability of new therapies, patients are still experiencing delays prior to diagnosis, and experiencing both emotional and financial impacts from the disease. By identifying the areas patients find most important in their treatment, this research can inform future care policies and long-term management to support patients living with PH and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Patient survey
  • PHA-UK
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Real-life research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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