The State of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Atrial Fibrillation: A Review of Current Measures
Mary Kay Margolis
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting approximately 2.2 million people in the US. The presentation of AF ranges from asymptomatic to severely symptomatic. When symptomatic, AF has been shown to have an adverse impact on health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) and to result in increased healthcare costs. The objective of this analysis was to review the current AF literature on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in order to evaluate the impact of AF on PROs and the applicability of current PRO measures in assessing AF outcomes. HR-QOL and symptoms were the most frequently assessed PROs; however, the sensitivity of the majority of the questionnaires for detecting subtle change is not known. For highly symptomatic patients, interventional procedures reduce symptoms and improve HR-QOL; however, this is a small cohort of patients with AF. For the most part, PROs are equivalent between pharmacological treatments or are not known for the large percentage of patients treated pharmacologically with antiarrhythmic or rate-controlling drugs. PRO assessment in AF patients is an area that needs continued development. AF-specific PRO measures are needed to assess the full range of patient symptoms and treatment outcomes. The impact of paroxysmal AF versus permanent AF is not well delineated, and sex and nationality differences are not known. In addition, the impact of AF on daily activities and HR-QOL is not clearly described.
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