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Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 180, Issue 4, pp 819–822 | Cite as

Warfarin anticoagulation: a survey of patients’ knowledge of their treatment

  • S. M. Moran
  • N. Fitzgerald
  • M. Pope
  • M. Madden
  • C. J. Vaughan
Original Article

Abstract

Introduction

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.

Aims

To assess, in a specialised anticoagulation clinic, the extent of patients’ knowledge of their warfarin treatment.

Methods

Ethical approval was obtained. All patients, aged over 18 years, attending our anticoagulation clinic during our study period were asked to participate.

Results

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.

Conclusions

Patients’ understanding of warfarin treatment was poor, despite their high level of compliance.

Keywords

Warfarin Haemovigilance Thromboembolism Patient education Patient knowledge Anticoagulation 

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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Moran
    • 1
  • N. Fitzgerald
    • 2
  • M. Pope
    • 1
  • M. Madden
    • 1
  • C. J. Vaughan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyMercy University HospitalCorkIreland
  2. 2.University College CorkCorkIreland

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