Background Vitamin K antagonist (VKA) is thought to be the largest anticoagulant prescribed; its iatrogenic effect constitutes a real public health problem.
Purpose The objective of this study was to evaluate the level of knowledge of patients about VKA treatment.
Material and methods During September and October, a standardised questionnaire was submitted to external patients consulting in the department of cardiology and receiving VKA. Criteria for inclusion were as follows: patients >18 years, receiving VKA and who agreed to participate in the study. The items on the questionnaire allowed identification of the main areas of therapeutic education: knowledge (knowledge of treatment by the patient, treatment modalities), know-being (healthy living, communication with health professionals) and know-how (management processing). All patients gave their informed consent. Data analysis was performed using the SPSS 13.0 software.
Results 30 patients were included in the study, 48% men and 51% women. Mean age was 55 years and 31% were illiterate. The name of the VKA treatment was known in 96% and 100% of patients who knew their dosage. 68% knew the indication for VKA treatment. 89% declared having received information about their treatment, 65% by their doctor and 34% by their pharmacist. In case of oversight of the drug, 31% of patients did not take it the same day, 83% of patients were not informed on the target value of INR. Symptoms of overdose were unknown in 21% of cases. 68% did not know risks of underdosing. Treatments contraindicated were not know in 82% of cases whereas only 17% of patients did not know forbidden foods with VKA.
Conclusion Patient knowledge about their VKA treatment was insufficient to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the treatment. It would be interesting to establish a therapeutic educational programme for patients.
No conflict of interest
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