Warfarin anticoagulation: a survey of patients’ knowledge of their treatment
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Warfarin is used for the treatment of thromboembolic disease. It requires careful and sustained monitoring due to its narrow therapeutic index and potentially life-threatening complications. Patient education and knowledge is, therefore, vital.
To assess, in a specialised anticoagulation clinic, the extent of patients’ knowledge of their warfarin treatment.
Ethical approval was obtained. All patients, aged over 18 years, attending our anticoagulation clinic during our study period were asked to participate.
We enrolled 181 patients, 47.9% of respondents were unaware of any potential drug interactions, 57.7% of patients were unaware of any potential side effects, 20% of patients had experienced side effects, 10.9% of patients had been hospitalised due to side effects, 58% of which were due to Haemorrhage and 79% of patients kept a personal record of their INR.
Patients’ understanding of warfarin treatment was poor, despite their high level of compliance.
KeywordsWarfarin Haemovigilance Thromboembolism Patient education Patient knowledge Anticoagulation
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