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Physicians’ Perceptions of Their Patients’ Attitude and Knowledge of Long-Term Oral Anticoagulant Therapy in Bulgaria

Department of Internal Diseases, Medical University of Sofia, 1431 Sofia, Bulgaria
Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Boehringer Ingelheim RCV GmbH & Co KG Bulgarian Branch, 1505 Sofia, Bulgaria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 313;
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stroke, Dementia and Atrial Fibrillation)
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Background and Objectives: Oral anticoagulation (OAC) is widely used in daily clinical practice worldwide for various indications. We aimed to explore the perception of Bulgarian clinicians about their patients’ attitude and knowledge of long-term OAC, prescribed for atrial fibrillation (AF) and/or known deep venous thrombosis (DVT)/pulmonary embolism (PE). Materials and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study that involved 226 specialists: 187 (82.7%) cardiologists, 23 (10.2%) neurologists, and 16 (7.1%) vascular surgeons. They filled in a questionnaire, specially designed for our study, answering various questions regarding OAC treatment in their daily clinical practice. Results: The mean prescription rate of OACs in AF patients was 80.3% and in DVT/PE—88.6%. One hundred and eighty-seven (82.7%) of the participants stated they see their patients on OAC at least once per month. According to more than one-third of the inquired clinicians, the patients did not understand well enough the provided information concerning net clinical benefit of OAC treatment. About 68% of the clinicians declared that their patients would prefer a “mutual” approach, discussing with the physician the OAC options and taking together the final decision, whereas according to 43 (19.0%), the patients preferred the physician to take a decision for them. Patients’ OAC treatment had been interrupted at least once within the last year due to a physician’s decision by 178 (78.8%) of the participants and the most common reason was elective surgery. The most influential factors for a patient’s choice of OAC were the need of a specific diet to be kept, intake frequency, and possible adverse reactions. Conclusions: Our results suggest that a clinician’s continuous medical education, shared decision-making, and appropriate local strategies for improved awareness of AF/DVT/PE patients are key factors for improvement of OAC management. View Full-Text
Keywords: atrial; fibrillation; venous; thrombosis; anticoagulation; perception atrial; fibrillation; venous; thrombosis; anticoagulation; perception

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Runev, N.; Potpara, T.; Naydenov, S.; Vladimirova, A.; Georgieva, G.; Manov, E. Physicians’ Perceptions of Their Patients’ Attitude and Knowledge of Long-Term Oral Anticoagulant Therapy in Bulgaria. Medicina 2019, 55, 313.

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