Background: Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common chronic cardiac dysrhythmia, is an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Various studies have shown that self-management plays a key role in prevention of complications, improving life style and medical care cost reduction in chronic diseases. Therefore it is quite necessary to strengthen the patients with chronic diseases to apply self-management behaviors. Thus, present study aimed to evaluate the effects of self-management interventions on lifestyle and disease complications in patients with AF.
Methods: Total of 72 patients were randomly allocated to intervention (36 cases) and control (36 cases) groups. To provide better training, the intervention group was then divided into 2 subgroup of 18 cases. Educational intervention took 3 weeks including 60 minutes sessions (2 sessions each week). After this period of time, patients were given educational handbook. Follow up intervention included 3 times telephone follow ups (after the 4th, 8th and 12th week of study). Cases in control group received usual care. All data were collected using demographic questionnaire, Walker life style questionnaire and complication check list. Data collection was done at three points (before the intervention, after first and third month of intervention). The collected data were analyzed using the SPSS statistical software package version 21. Chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, and t- independent test were used.
Results: In terms of demographic and clinical characteristics, no significant difference was found between two groups. Results revealed a significant increase in life style score after first and third month of study (P<0.001). Rate of re-admissions due to AF and bleedings due to anticoagulants did not show significant differences after the first month in both groups. But it had increased significantly after third month of study in control group (P<0.05). There was no significant increase in cerebral embolic complications in both groups (P>0.05).
Conclusion: Findings showed that self-management interventions can be applied to improve life style and reduce complications in patients with AF. However more studies are required to evaluate effects of these interventions on AF cerebral embolic complications in longer periods of time.Author(s): Hojatolah Najafi, Mahnaz Rakhshan