Living on a knife edge-the daily struggle of coping with symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias.
BACKGROUND:In 2010 a retrospective audit was undertaken to assess the viability of using PROMs in patients with symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias having undergone percutaneous arrhythmia ablation. A response rate of 74 % was achieved, with finding suggesting that arrhythmia patients reported a significant impact on their work, social and family life. AIMS:To conduct a qualitative cross sectional survey to understand patients' perspectives of how cardiac arrhythmias affect their daily lives, as part of a program to develop a Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM). METHOD:Twenty five patients aged 18 or over, diagnosed with a variety of symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias referred for a cardiac ablation procedure took part in cognitive interviews. These aimed to inform the development of a patient reported outcome measure and to determine factors important to this patient group. Common themes were identified using content analysis. RESULTS:Participants reported that symptoms of their arrhythmia caused them considerable problems and impacted adversely on their quality of life in many ways. This extended through daily routine, work and social activities and also to friends and family, with fear and anxiety being significant factors for most responders. Patients felt their illness was poorly understood, even by health professionals, and often reported that they felt isolated, lacking support and information. CONCLUSION:Symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias are a source of debilitating and life limiting symptoms, having a negative impact on quality of life. Symptoms and related complications are relevant across different arrhythmia substrates and patient groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION:The study is registered on the Clinical Trials website, Identifier NCT01672528.
Withers, KL; Wood, KA; Carolan-Rees, G; Patrick, H; Lencioni, M; Griffith, M
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