Assessment of atrial fibrillation patients' education needs from patient and clinician perspectives: A qualitative descriptive study

  • Shahrzad Salmasi
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia, 2405 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Collaboration for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Leanne Kwan
    Affiliations
    Atrial Fibrillation Clinic, Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, Canada
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  • Jenny MacGillivray
    Affiliations
    Atrial Fibrillation Clinic, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Nick Bansback
    Affiliations
    School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Providence Health Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Mary A. De Vera
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Collaboration for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Arden R. Barry
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Mark J. Harrison
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Collaboration for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Providence Health Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Jason Andrade
    Affiliations
    Atrial Fibrillation Clinic, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Larry D. Lynd
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Collaboration for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Providence Health Research Institute, Vancouver, Canada
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  • Peter Loewen
    Affiliations
    Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Collaboration for Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CORE), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
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Published:November 16, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.thromres.2018.11.015

      Highlights

      • Atrial fibrillation (AF) patients have many knowledge gaps and misconceptions.
      • AF patient education should address patients' emotional needs.
      • AF patients' risk communication preferences are variable.
      • AF patients frequently consult the internet to find information.
      • AF patients have a positive attitude towards online and classroom education.

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Patients' lack of knowledge is a key barrier to therapy adherence. We aimed to gather insights into atrial fibrillation (AF) patients' education needs from patient and clinician viewpoints.

      Methods

      We conducted a qualitative descriptive study using purposive sampling and semi-structured interviews with AF patients and clinicians recruited from AF clinics. Data from patients and clinicians were analyzed independently and iteratively through inductive qualitative thematic analysis.

      Results

      Eleven clinicians and 10 patients were interviewed. Three themes emerged from analysis of clinician data: (1) patients' knowledge gaps and misconceptions, (2) clinicians' experiences teaching AF patients, and (3) clinicians' suggestions for AF education programs. Four themes emerged from the patient data: (1) emotional appraisal of the disease, (2) information seeking behavior, (3) knowledge gaps, and (4) education preferences. A key finding was identification of the need for education that addresses patients' unjustified anxieties by emphasizing that AF is not fatal, and that many patients with AF live a normal life. Risk communication was identified as the most challenging aspect of AF education. In synthesizing our findings, we developed evidence-based recommendations for educational strategies for AF.

      Conclusion

      We found that AF patients have many knowledge gaps and misconceptions, significant emotional education needs, and a positive attitude towards online and classroom education. In synthesizing our findings, we developed evidence-based recommendations which can inform the design of AF patient education programs and initiatives.

      Keywords

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