Patient-focused interventions to support vulnerable people using oral anticoagulants: a narrative review.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Ther Adv Drug Saf, 2019, 10 pp. 2042098619847423 - ?
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The aim of this review was to identify patient-focused interventions that have been trialed to support vulnerable patient populations taking oral anticoagulants (warfarin and the direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs)) such as older persons (65 years and over), those with limited health literacy, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This review also aimed to report on the effects of these interventions on outcomes relevant to the use of anticoagulant therapy. Original articles published between 1 January 1995 and 30 June 2017 were identified using several electronic databases such as Medline, Ovid, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane, and Google Scholar. The following terms were used for the three-tiered search: Tier 1, elderly, aged, older adult, geriatrics; Tier 2, health literacy, literacy, low health literacy, low English proficiency, patient literacy; and Tier 3, ethnicity, ethnic, ethnic groups, CALD, culturally and linguistically diverse, NESB, non-English speaking background, race, racial groups, religion, religious groups, and minority groups. The terms for each tier were combined with the following terms: anticoagulants, anticoagulation, warfarin, apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, DOACS, new oral anticoagulants, novel oral anticoagulants, patient care, patient knowledge, comprehension, patient education, patient participation, and communication. A total of 41 studies were identified. Most of the interventions identified included older persons taking warfarin who were monitored using the international normalized ratio (INR) and who received patient education. Many interventions reported a significant positive impact on patients' knowledge, reduction in the number of adverse events caused by hemorrhage, and better INR control. More research on patient-focused interventions is needed that includes patients with limited health literacy, those from CALD backgrounds, and family members and caregivers of patients taking oral anticoagulants.
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