(HealthDay News) — A new program is being developed to help patients recognize the signs and symptoms of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), according to a report from the American College of Physicians (ACP).

The ACP received a $212,000 grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer alliance in support of the “Stopping Stroke Through Engaged Patients” (STEP) program. The program will develop patient resources, including a self-management guidebook, worksheets to engage and empower patients, and a video. It will use plain language, break complex information into smaller chunks, and limit the number of messages to incorporate health literacy best practices.

The guidebook will be focused on self-management, setting goals, and taking measures to control NVAF and reduce the risk of stroke; it will also include patient stories. The worksheets will help patients stay in control of NVAF and improve medication adherence. The video will demonstrate how a patient reduced their risk of stroke in partnership with their health care team, using a treatment plan based on shared decision making.

“STEP will be a comprehensive patient engagement program with print, video, and online resources,” David Fleming, MD, president of the ACP, said in a statement. “Sharing of knowledge, effective communication, and shared decision making between patients and physicians are critical components to medication adherence and lifestyle modification, which are two important factors in reducing the risk of stroke.”

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