A Survey of Anticoagulation Non-Adherence in Emergency Department Patients Presenting with Atrial Fibrillation




Harla, Sean


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Introduction: Patients with atrial fibrillation are at an increased risk of stroke. As part of stroke prevention, these patients are prescribed anticoagulants. The Emergency Medicine Department at the University of Texas Southwestern undertook a survey study to ascertain why some Emergency Department (ED) patients with atrial fibrillation are compliant with taking their anticoagulant therapy, whereas others are not. The objective was to assess whether or not patient health literacy/ numeracy played a significant impact on patient anticoagulant non-adherence. Methods: The Newest Vital Sign (NVS) survey and Modified Morisky Scale (MMS) survey were administered to the subjects to measure their health literacy/ numeracy as well as level of motivation/ knowledge, respectively. Results: Results showed that patient knowledge and motivation may have surpassed patient health literacy/ numeracy in impacting anticoagulant compliance among ED patients with a history of atrial fibrillation. Patient enrollment however did not meet threshold for power. As such, the results did not show statistical significance. Conclusion: It is therefore recommended that future research continue in order to attain a large enough sample size to render statistically significant findings.