The impact of frequency of patient self-testing of prothrombin time on time in target range within VA Cooperative Study #481: The Home INR Study (THINRS), a randomized, controlled trial.
Anticoagulation (AC) is effective in reducing thromboembolic events for individuals with atrial fibrillation (AF) or mechanical heart valve (MHV), but maintaining patients in target range for international normalized ratio (INR) can be difficult. Evidence suggests increasing INR testing frequency can improve time in target range (TTR), but this can be impractical with in-clinic testing. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that more frequent patient-self testing (PST) via home monitoring increases TTR. This planned substudy was conducted as part of The Home INR Study, a randomized controlled trial of in-clinic INR testing every 4 weeks versus PST at three different intervals. The setting for this study was 6 VA centers across the United States. 1,029 candidates with AF or MHV were trained and tested for competency using ProTime INR meters; 787 patients were deemed competent and, after second consent, randomized across four arms: high quality AC management (HQACM) in a dedicated clinic, with venous INR testing once every 4 weeks; and telephone monitored PST once every 4 weeks; weekly; and twice weekly. The primary endpoint was TTR at 1-year follow-up. The secondary endpoints were: major bleed, stroke and death, and quality of life. Results showed that TTR increased as testing frequency increased (59.9 ± 16.7 %, 63.3 ± 14.3 %, and 66.8 ± 13.2 % [mean ± SD] for the groups that underwent PST every 4 weeks, weekly and twice weekly, respectively). The proportion of poorly managed patients (i.e., TTR <50 %) was significantly lower for groups that underwent PST versus HQACM, and the proportion decreased as testing frequency increased. Patients and their care providers were unblinded given the nature of PST and HQACM. In conclusion, more frequent PST improved TTR and reduced the proportion of poorly managed patients.
Matchar, DB; Love, SR; Jacobson, AK; Edson, R; Uyeda, L; Phibbs, CS; Dolor, RJ
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