Article Text

Download PDFPDF
What do our patients think they know about atrial fibrillation? … Is that asking the right question?
  1. Prashant Dattatraya Bhave
  1. Correspondence to Dr Prashant Dattatraya Bhave, Cardiology Section, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA; pdbhave{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

In their Heart publication, Kaufman et al 1 analysed survey data examining patients’ self-reported understanding of various elements of care regarding their atrial fibrillation (AF). The authors used a cohort of patients recently diagnosed with AF from a substudy of the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT) II registry. The authors found that on initial survey, about half of patients reported a high understanding of various elements of AF care, such as the benefits of taking blood thinner. Exceptions included ‘role of rhythm control’ (for which 70% of patients reported a high understanding) and ‘benefits of left atrial appendage closure’ (for which only 8% of patients reported a high understanding). Overall, patient self-report of understanding of various AF treatment modalities did improve somewhat between baseline and 6-month follow-up; however, there was also some regression—for instance, 15%–20% of patients who reported high understanding of the benefits of oral anticoagulation at baseline reported a downgrade in that level of understanding 6 months later. With the exception of catheter ablation, patients' self-perceived understanding of a given modality of AF care did not correlate to the frequency of use of that modality in their care.

This manuscript raises a number of important issues that are pertinent to the way that we care for patients with any chronic disease, not just AF. …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles

  • Arrhythmias and sudden death
    Brystana G Kaufman Sunghee Kim Karen Pieper Larry A Allen Bernard J Gersh Gerald V Naccarelli Michael D Ezekowitz Gregg C Fonarow Kenneth W Mahaffey Daniel E Singer Paul S Chan James V Freeman Jack Ansell Peter R Kowey James A Rieffel Jonathan Piccini Eric Peterson Emily C O’Brien