Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a highly prevalent heart rhythm disturbance, often associated with underlying (cardio)vascular disease. Due to this the management of AF is often complex and current practice calls for a more comprehensive, multifactorial and patient-centred approach. Therefore an Integrated Chronic Care approach in AF was developed and implemented in terms of a nurse-led specialized outpatient clinic for patients with AF. A randomised controlled trial comparing the nurse-led approach with usual care demonstrated superiority in terms of cardiovascular hospitalization and death as well as cost-effectiveness in terms of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) and life years, in favour of the nurse-led approach. Implementing such approach can be difficult since daily practice can be persistent. To highlight the importance of integrated care wherein the nurse fulfils a significant role, and to provide a guide in developing and continuing such approach, this paper presents the theoretical framework of the AF-Clinic based on the principles of the Taxonomy for Integrated Chronic Atrial Fibrillation Management.
Credits: Hendriks JML; Crijns HJGM; Vrijhoef HJM