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Patient-reported outcomes in relation to continuously monitored rhythm before and during 2 years after atrial fibrillation ablation using a disease-specific and a generic instrument

Journal article
Authors A. Björkenheim
A. Brandes
A. Magnuson
A. Chemnitz
Nils Edvardsson
D. Poçi
Published in Journal of the American Heart Association
Volume 7
Issue 5
ISSN 2047-9980
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine
Language en
Keywords Atrial fibrillation, Catheter ablation, Quality of life, adult, Article, controlled study, female, heart rhythm, human, major clinical study, male, mental health, patient-reported outcome, priority journal, Short Form 36, social interaction
Subject categories Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


Background--Atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation improves patient-reported outcomes, irrespective of mode of intermittent rhythm monitoring. We evaluated the use of an AF-specific and a generic patient-reported outcomes instrument during continuous rhythm monitoring 2 years after AF ablation. Methods and Results--Fifty-four patients completed the generic 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey and the AF-specific AF6 questionnaires before and 6, 12, and 24 months after AF ablation. All patients underwent continuous ECG monitoring via an implantable loop recorder. The generic patient-reported outcomes scores were compared with those of a Swedish age- and sexmatched population. After ablation, both summary scores reached normative levels at 24 months, while role-physical and vitality remained lower than norms. Responders to ablation (AF burden < 0.5%) reached the norms in all individual 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey domains, while nonresponders (AF burden > 0.5%) reached norms only in social functioning and mental component summary. All AF6 items and the sum score showed moderate to large improvement in both responders and nonresponders, although responders showed significantly greater improvement in all items except item 1 from before to 24 months after ablation. Higher AF burden was independently associated with poorer physical component summary and AF6 sum score. Conclusions--The AF-specific AF6 questionnaire was more sensitive to changes related to AF burden than the generic 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Patients improved as documented by both instruments, but a higher AF burden after ablation was associated with poorer AF-specific patient-reported outcomes and poorer generic physical but not mental health. Our results support the use of an AF-specific instrument, alone or in combination with a generic instrument, to assess the effect of ablation. © 2018 The Authors.

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