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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 80-84

Program planning in education and light exercise training for atrial fibrillation patients: A feasibility study

1 Department of Psychology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
2 Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
3 Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
4 Department of Psychology; Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ms. Connor Tripp
104 Rawl Building, Department of Psychology, East Carolina University, Greenville 27834, North Carolina
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/hm.hm_25_20

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Background: Contemporary management of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) indicates the need for educational and self-care programs to address lifestyle factors. Aims: This study examined the clinical need and interest in programming for risk factor modification in AF patients residing in a mostly rural area. Methods: Participants with AF (n = 86) were recruited during university-based cardiac electrophysiology appointments and asked to complete a 10-min survey battery assessing a range of risk factors spanning physical activity, knowledge, ability, interest, and engagement, as well as psychologic function. Results: AF risk factor reports indicated broad potential need for AF programming with an average CHADS-VASC of 3.8, with approximately 67% reporting low physical activity, and 38% significant anxiety. Related to self-care topics, education on physical activity was the highest-rated program, but weight-loss programming was rated as the most likely to attend. Distance to the clinic was the most often cited barrier, 50% of sample. Conclusions: AF patients demonstrated a need and view educational programming in the realm of physical activity and weight-loss as desirable. Increased research is needed to determine format and duration of treatment deemed efficacious and able to overcome specific barriers such as distance to care.

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