Introduction: Oral anticoagulant therapy choices for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) expanded in the last decade with the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC). However, the implementation of DOACs was slow and varied across different health economies in England. There is limited evidence on patient role on the uptake of new medicines, including DOACs, apart from considering their demographic and clinical characteristics. Hence, this study aimed to address the gap by exploring patients with AF views on factors affecting DOAC use. Methods: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was conducted in three health economies in the North of England. Adult patients (>18 years) diagnosed with non-valvular AF, prescribed an oral anticoagulant (vitamin K antagonist or DOAC), and able to give written consent were recruited. Data were collected between August 2018 and April 2019. Audio recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the Framework method. Results: Four themes with eleven subthemes discussed identified factors affecting the use of DOACs. They were linked to limited healthcare financial and workforce resources, patient involvement in decision-making, patient knowledge about DOACs, safety concerns about oral anticoagulants, and oral anticoagulant therapy impact on patients' daily lives. Lack of a) opportunities to voice patient preferences and b) information on available therapy options, resulted in some patients experiencing difficulties with the prescribed therapy. This was reported to cause negative impact on their daily lives, adherence, and overall satisfaction with the therapy. Conclusion: Greater patient involvement in decision-making could prevent and resolve difficulties encountered by some patients and potentially improve outcomes plus increase the uptake of DOACs.
|Journal||Patient Preference and Adherence|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 1 Mar 2021|