This was a priority exercise conducted by Cochrane Heart in collaboration with the Arrhythmia Alliance. We aimed to discover a little bit more about how patients perceive atrial fibrillation, what are their main symptoms and concerns, and which areas, in their opinion, should be a priority for research. We created a survey composed of 8 questions in lay language with the input of patients and relatives. This was sent via Arrhythmia Alliance to their members' mailing list.
Even though patients with atrial fibrillation are mainly concerned with the associated-risk of stroke, at least 30% have got some awareness of other potential complications of this arrhythmia. Based on the patients' answers, reviews on anticoagulants will not be priority for Cochrane Heart. We will, therefore, be focusing on drugs or interventions aiming at a rhythm control strategy. Heart failure and dementia should be endpoints to be included in all atrial fibrillation reviews.
Below is a selection of the questions and answers that are relevant to defining our priorities.