Effective long-term anticoagulation requires a good working partnership between patients and the healthcare team. A key part of this is that patients understand how their treatment works, why it has been given and how to take it correctly. AntiCoagulation Europe, a patient organisation for people on anticoagulants, recently carried out a survey of 711 patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) from seven European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK) being treated with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) such as warfarin. The it’s about time survey was designed to explore patients’ insights into their treatment.
The results show that many patients have gaps in their understanding about anticoagulation therapy and emphasise the need for ongoing patient education and the development of more patient-friendly anticoagulants to improve outcomes and quality of life.