New guidance from NICE, including a patient decision aid, aims to help save thousands of people with the heart condition atrial fibrillation (AF), which causes irregular or abnormally fast heart rates, from strokes, disability or death. The updated guidance highlights the need to ensure people with atrial fibrillation (AF) are offered the right treatments to reduce their chance of dying from strokes.
NICE has worked with AF experts and patients to produce its first pilot Patient Decision Aid (PDA). This is designed to help patients weigh up the possible benefits, harms, advantages and disadvantages of the different options for treatment so that they can better discuss them with a health professional and come to a decision together.
The PDA includes a tool for patients to rate what is and isn’t important to them in stroke prevention. It also has visual representations of the risks and benefits of the treatments to prevent stroke.
The updated guideline highlights that addressing patient concerns and providing them with the knowledge to make informed choices about their condition is good clinical practice and should be the goal for all healthcare professionals.
“Giving people with AF a personalised package of care and information will go a long way to ensuring that the treatment they receive is the treatment they need,” says Eileen Porter, patient/carer representative on the Guideline Development Group.
“The guideline recommends this package should include up-to-date and comprehensive education and information on areas such as the cause, effects and possible complications of AF. This means that people with AF can be equal partners in their care. It will enable them to be actively involved with their clinician in decision-making about their treatment options and agree the therapies that are best for them.”
Visit the NICE website for more details.