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Understanding atrial fibrillation, disease progression, management options, and patient-clinician communication
Carrie Nemerovski1,2, Jona Lekura2, James S Kalus2
1Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University, 2Department of Pharmacy Services, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA
Abstract: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. The progressive and chronic nature of this disease leads to heavy utilization of health care resources, with total health care expenditures estimated to be five times greater for patients with AF compared with those without AF. The management of AF involves thromboembolism prophylaxis, prevention of deterioration of cardiac function, and symptom control. As with other chronic disease states, an essential part of clinical care in AF is increasing a patient's understanding of the pathophysiology of AF, the consequences of untreated AF, and the therapeutic goals and potential side effects of treatment plans. Adherence to treatment regimens has the potential to have a large impact on patient outcomes. A reduction in symptoms along with a decrease in stroke incidence and morbidity may be the result of improved medication adherence. Health care professional communication of the management of AF and the treatment plan to an individual patient is multifaceted and essential to improving patient understanding, adherence to prescribed regimens, and clinical outcomes.
Keywords: atrial fibrillation, antiarrhythmic, anticoagulation
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