Assessment of adherence, treatment satisfaction and knowledge of direct oral anticoagulants in atrial fibrillation patients

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AIM: The direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are increasingly used for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (AF). However, little is known about the association between medication adherence, patient satisfaction and treatment knowledge. The objective was to determine patients' DOAC adherence and their treatment satisfaction over time. Furthermore, we respectively investigated possible associations of treatment satisfaction and treatment knowledge in relation to adherence.

METHODS: Longitudinal study conducted in AF patients hospitalized in 2019 in a tertiary university hospital. DOAC adherence, treatment satisfaction and knowledge were assessed with validated questionnaires. Mixed effects logistic regression was modelled to investigate the effect of both treatment satisfaction and knowledge on DOAC adherence over time.

RESULTS: In total, 164 patients participated of which 128 and 101 patients could be recontacted after a period of respectively 3 (first contact) and 6 months (second contact) to assess adherence and treatment satisfaction. Suboptimal adherence was observed in 40.6% of the patients after 3 months and in 42.6% after 6 months (p=0.78). There was no significant difference (p=0.29) in the total score for treatment satisfaction between the first (79.2%) and the second contact (80.6%). DOAC adherence was not affected by time (p=0.71) nor by total knowledge score (p=0.61) or treatment satisfaction score (p=0.34). Nonetheless, a strong correlation between treatment satisfaction and knowledge was found (p=0.004).

CONCLUSION: DOAC adherence was suboptimal. Treatment satisfaction and knowledge were not associated with DOAC adherence over a 6 month period. Knowledge gaps were identified that could be remediated through patient education and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2419-2429
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Early online date14 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • DOAC adherence
  • atrial fibrillation
  • disease and treatment knowledge
  • oral anticoagulation
  • patient education
  • treatment satisfaction
  • Stroke prevention


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