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Living with Oral Anticoagulants

Education, Training, and Self-Management not only for Seniors

Patient education and training is a substantial part being anticoagulated in order to know how to deal properly with Oral Anticoagulants. J.L. Wofford et al. did a research in the internet-searching machine ‘Google Scholar’ as well as in the database of scientific papers (MEDLINE) concerning publications about patient education and training of oral anticoagulated patients. 32 out of 206 publications matched the field of research/investigated topic. The result shows huge differences in patient education worldwide:So does the length of training differ from one up to ten sessions. On average, 3-5 patients participated in a training session. Also the amount of and methodology of questions do differ: from four up to 28 questions, most of them being set-up as multiple choice questions (finding out the right answer out of many). Overall, the publications show, that patient education differs a lot in terms of goals, content, and method of testing.
Conclusion: The training content should be more aligned in order to improve the quality of oral anticoagulation.Dr. med. Hermann Krüttner, Grossgmain, Austria, asked in his study patients on anticoagulation, why they took oral anticoagulants / about the reasons for taking oral anticoagulants. The results was devastating: 33 % of the respondents did not know at all. This shows clearly how important it is to explain all patients in detail and thoroughly the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ when being treated with anticoagulants. Dr. med. Andrea Siebenhofer, University of Graz, made a study with the goal to evaluate if elderly patients treated with anticoagulants are capable of INR self-management, as well. The average age was 69. The study design covered two groups: INR self-management patients and patients not participating in self-management (Routine Care Group, RCG). Participants of both groups have been trained in the beginning of the study. The preliminary results showed a positive picture for the elderly patients doing self-management. They were 75.4 % within their therapeutic range measuring weekly, having minor INR-deviations (RCG: 66.5 % doing measurements every three or four weeks with major INR-deviations). The author concludes that INR self-management can be conducted by elderly patients without any problems.

Christian Schaefer, Germany, "Die Gerinnung" No. 34, Dec. 2009