Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2015 reports that an education program did not improve adherence to apixaban among patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) compared to usual information about the disease and treatment. However, the adherence and persistence rates in both groups were encouraging.

The AEGEAN trial included AF patients treated with apixaban who received either an educational program (n=579) or usual information about the disease and treatment (n=583) to determine if there were differences in treatment adherence (continuous twice daily dosing with an occasional missed dose allowed) and treatment persistence (defined as absence of discontinuation for 30 consecutive days) over a 6-month observational period. The educational program included a patient information booklet describing AF and anticoagulant treatment for stroke prevention, reminder tools, and access to a virtual clinical with staff from existing vitamin K antagonist (VKA) monitoring clinics.

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At 24 weeks, the adherence rate was 88.3% in the education group (P=0.89) vs. 88.5% in the control group; persistence rates were 91.1% and 90.5%, respectively (P=0.76). Lead investigator Gilles Montalescot, MD, PhD, from the Institut de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pitié-Salpêtrire, in Paris, France, noted that future studies may wish to evaluate more aggressive and costly educational programs, but that the adherence and persistence rates in this study were very good even without the educational program.

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