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Patients’ attitude and knowledge about oral anticoagulation therapy: results of a self-assessment survey in patients with atrial fibrillation conducted by the European Heart Rhythm Association

Walid Amara, Torben B. Larsen, Elena Sciaraffia, Antonio Hernández Madrid, Jian Chen, Heidi Estner, Derick Todd, Maria G. Bongiorni, Tatjana S. Potpara, Nikolaos Dagres, Pascal Sagnol, Carina Blomstrom-Lundqvist
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euv317 151-155 First published online: 12 October 2015


The purpose of this European Heart Rhythm Association survey was to assess the attitude, level of education, and knowledge concerning oral anticoagulants (OACs) among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) taking vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) or antiplatelets. A total of 1147 patients with AF [mean age 66 ± 13 years, 529 (45%) women] from 8 selected European countries responded to this survey. The overall use of OACs and antiplatelets was 77 and 15.3%, respectively. Of the patients taking OACs, 67% were on VKAs, 33% on NOACs, and 17.9% on a combination of OACs and antiplatelets. Among patients on VKAs, 91% correctly stated the target international normalized ratio (INR) level. The proportion of patients on VKA medication who were aware that monthly INR monitoring was required for this treatment and the proportion of patients on NOAC who knew that renal function monitoring at least annually was mandatory for NOACs was 76 and 21%, respectively. An indirect estimation of compliance indicated that 14.5% of patients temporarily discontinued the treatment, and 26.5% of patients reported having missed at least one dose. The survey shows that there is room for improvement regarding education and adherence of patients taking OACs, particularly regarding monitoring requirements for NOACs.

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Stroke
  • Risk
  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Vitamin K antagonists
  • Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants
  • Guidelines
  • CHA2DS2-VASc
  • Patient awareness
  • Survey
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