Study of warfarin patients investigating attitudes toward therapy change (SWITCH Survey)

Am J Ther. 2012 Nov;19(6):432-5. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e3182373591.


Although the oral anticoagulant warfarin has undoubtedly saved lives and reduced the number of strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, it is a cumbersome medication to manage and take. Novel oral anticoagulants, such as dabigatran, offer therapeutic anticoagulation without requisite blood testing or dietary restrictions. We conducted a survey of the attitudes of patients enrolled in a warfarin clinic toward switching to a novel anticoagulant. From September to December 2010, a written survey was offered to 180 patients in the Warfarin Clinic of the Rush University Medical Center and 155 patients filled out the survey (86% response rate). Inclusion criteria included being 18 years of age or older, on warfarin for 2 months. Fifty-eight percent of patients were willing to switch anticoagulants. Women were significantly less willing to switch from warfarin than men (31 of 71, 44% vs. 54 of 78, 69%; P = 0.003). Patients older than 70 years were significantly more willing to switch anticoagulants than those younger than 70 years (48 of 68, 71% vs. 38 of 75, 51%; P = 0.017). There are significant differences across age and gender in the initial willingness of patients to accept novel anticoagulants. These differences may have important implications in the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic events.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Data Collection
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use*


  • Anticoagulants
  • Warfarin