There are many reports of lack of guideline adherence in the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), and AF affects health-related quality of life (HRQoL) negatively. The aim of this study was to investigate whether structured care compared to standard care of a general AF population could improve guideline adherence and HRQoL, and reduce symptoms, anxiety and depression.
In total, 176 patients were recruited to the intervention and 146 patients to the control group. The intervention consisted of a structured follow-up program, while patients serving as controls received standard care. The primary outcome was guideline adherence evaluated through: appropriate use of oral anticoagulants (OAC) and antiarrhythmics, whether echocardiogram and thyroid lab tests were performed, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), assessed with the questionnaires SF-36, EQ-5D, HADS and ASTA at baseline and after one year.
Guideline adherence was significantly better in the intervention group, 91% vs. 63% (p < 0.01), mainly due to appropriate OAC treatment 94% vs. 74% (p < 0.01). Symptoms assessed with ASTA were less frequent and the negative impact of AF was reduced in the intervention group after one year/ at follow-up. Five scales in SF-36, and the visual analogue scale for current health status in EQ-5D (EQ-VAS), improved significantly in both groups.
Structured care of patients with AF significantly improved guideline adherence and patients reported fewer symptoms and a reduced negative impact on disease-specific HRQoL compared to standard care at one year follow-up.
Credits: Neshro Barmano, Ulla Walfridsson, Håkan Walfridsson, Jan-Erik Karlsson