DOI: 10.1093/eurjcn/zvad066 ISSN: 1474-5151

Implementation of patient education for patients with atrial fibrillation: nationwide cross-sectional survey and one-year follow-up

Ina Qvist, Deirdre A Lane, Signe Stelling Risom, Jeroen M Hendriks, Anette Arbjerg Højen, Søren Paaske Johnsen, Lars Frost
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Medical–Surgical Nursing
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine



Clinical practice guidelines recommend patient education for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) as a part of holistic care, however, clinical guidelines lack detailed specification on the content, structure, and delivery of AF education programmes. To examine the implementation of education for patients with AF in Denmark in relation to coverage, organization, and content.

Methods and results

A cross-sectional survey was conducted from February to May 2021. The survey contained questions on the organization, delivery, and content of education for patients with AF from all 29 AF outpatient hospital sites in Denmark. The survey was conducted by email and telephone. One-year follow-up was done in May 2022 by email. Patient education was provided by healthcare professionals in 16 (55%) hospitals. Nurse workforce issues, management, non-prioritization, and lack of guidance for implementation were reasons for the absence of patient education in 13 (45%) hospitals. The structure of patient education differed in relation to group or individual teaching methods and six different education models were used. Content of the AF disease education was generally similar. At 1-year follow-up, another four hospitals reported offering patient education (69% in total).


Initially, almost half of the hospitals did not provide patient education, but at 1-year follow-up, 69% of hospitals delivered patient education. Patient education was heterogeneous in relation to delivery, frequency, and duration. Future research should address individualized patient education that may demonstrate superiority in relation to quality of life, less hospital admissions, and increased longevity.

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