Abstract 2512: Knowledge and Self-Management Behaviors of Patients with Recently Detected Atrial Fibrillation
Background: At least 2.3 million people have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF). Because AF primarily affects the elderly, cases of AF will double in 50 years. AF is a major cause of stroke, and linked to substantial healthcare costs. Despite recommendations for patient education and the expectation that self-management education is associated with positive outcomes, little is known about patients’ repsonse to AF education and knowledge patients have about their AF treatment and self-management behaviors.
Purpose: The purpose of this descriptive study was to 1) describe knowledge patients with recently detected AF have regarding self-management skills 2) describe reported self-management behaviors and 3) assess satisfaction regarding AF education provided during hospitalization.
Methods: 111 subjects were recruited during hospitalization. To assess knowledge and behaviors, a structured interview tool was used to collect data by telephone interview. Clinical and demographic data were abstracted from subjects’ records. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data.
Results: Mean age of the sample was 67.2 years. Length of stay was ≤ 24 hours for 30% of subjects. Over half were treated with warfarin. The majority was able to identify a descriptor of AF, recognize a personal symptom of AF and purpose of medications. Less than half were able to identify stroke as a potential complication of AF and 21% could not name at least one sign or symptom of stroke. There was high adherence to recommended self-management behaviors and high satisfaction with education. Subjects were challenged by the amount of information to process during the short hospitalization.
Conclusions: Education for AF must emphasize AF as a risk for stroke, recognition of signs and symptoms of stroke and discussion of action plans. Short hospital stays may limit the amount of information retained. Educational resources that concisely present information may help patients to prioritize essential information to successfully self-manage their AF.