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Frequency and Determinants of Adherence to Oral Anticoagulants in Stroke Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in Clinical Practice



Frequency and Determinants of Adherence to Oral Anticoagulants in Stroke Patients with Atrial Fibrillation in Clinical Practice



European Neurology 76(3-4): 187-193



Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are beneficial in patients with stroke and atrial fibrillation (AF). However, little is known about frequency and determinants of adherence to NOACs/VKAs in clinical practice. This is a single-center explorative study from the Novel Oral Anticoagulants in Stroke Patients (NOACISP)-LONGTERM registry. We included consecutive AF-stroke patients treated with NOACs/VKAs and followed up for 3-24 months. Adherence was assessed at follow-up using structured interviews and quantified as the proportion of prescribed doses taken (PDT). Outcome measures were (i) full adherence, (ii) ≥95% adherence and (iii) ≥80% adherence (i.e., PDT 100/≥95/≥80%). To explore determinants of full adherence, we compared characteristics of fully and non-fully adherent patients. A total of 218 of 251 (86.9%) patients (48% female, mean age 77.9 ± 9.1 years, 78% NOACs; 22% VKAs) were eligible for analysis with a median follow-up of 12 months: fully adherent were 78.4% patients (NOACs 77.1%, VKAs 83.3%, p = 0.35), ≥95% adherent were 95.4% and ≥80% adherent were 97.2%. Fully adherent patients took more pills daily (median (interquartile range) 7 (5-10) vs. 6 (4-8), p = 0.039), had more often previous antithrombotic treatment (70.8 vs. 53.2%, p = 0.023), caregiver-assisted medication administration (54.2 vs. 19.1%, p < 0.001) and functional dependency (32.8 vs. 15%, p = 0.011) than non-fully adherent patients. Full adherence was frequent. Patients naïve to antithrombotics, taking few pills, which they self-administer, were at the highest risk of non-adherence and may benefit most from adherence-enhancing interventions.

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Accession: 057899895

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27705975

DOI: 10.1159/000450750


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