Objective To investigate anticoagulant adherence and its associated factors, including demographics, clinical variables, atrial fibrillation (AF) severity, knowledge, satisfaction with services, perceived barriers, perceived benefits, symptom severity and self-efficacy in patients with AF. Design This is a cross-sectional study. Participants and setting A convenient sample of patients with AF were recruited from cardiology clinics of two teaching hospitals in Taiwan. Measures Data were collected using the study questionnaires, including the AF-related symptom subscale of the AF Severity Scale, the Knowledge of Warfarin Anticoagulation Treatment Scale, the Satisfaction Scale about Service and Warfarin Treatment, the perceived benefits subscale of the Beliefs about Anticoagulation Survey, the Concerns about Anticoagulation Therapy Scale, The Self-efficacy for Appropriate Medication Use Scale and the short-form Adherence to Refills and Medications Scale. Results A total of 151 patients with AF participated in the study; 53 treated with warfarin and 98 treated with novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs). The difference in adherence to warfarin (mean=8.6; SD=1.6) and NOACs (mean=8.9; SD=2.0) was statistically insignificant. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that perceived barriers (β=0.18, p=0.017) and self-efficacy (β=-0.48, p<0.001) were significant predictors of anticoagulation adherence. For every 1-unit increase in the perceived barriers, there will be a 0.18-unit increase in the adherence to anticoagulation therapy. For every 1-unit increase in the self-efficacy, there will be a 0.48-unit decrease in the adherence to anticoagulation therapy. Perceived barriers and self-efficacy collectively explained 34.0% of the variance in adherence to anticoagulation therapy (F (2,149) =38.11, p<0.001). Conclusion We found no better adherence to NOACs compared with warfarin. Patients with greater self-efficacy and perceived fewer barriers showed better adherence to anticoagulation therapy.
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