Patients' well-being: experience and actions in their preventing and handling of atrial fibrillation

Eur J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2013 Apr;12(2):132-9. doi: 10.1177/1474515112457132. Epub 2012 Aug 30.


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) influences the lives of patients in the form of worsened well-being. Patients' own experience of and how to handle AF is rarely investigated. These are important aspects for healthcare services to understand in order to support the well-being of patients with AF.

Aim: To explore and describe critical incidents in which patients experience how AF affects their well-being and what actions they take to prevent and handle it.

Design and methods: An explorative, descriptive design based on the critical incident technique (CIT) was used. Interviews were conducted with 25 patients (16 men and 9 women) with AF in a healthcare area in southern Sweden.

Results: Patients experienced discomfort and limitations in daily life. The actions they took were self-care related actions and healthcare related actions.

Conclusion: AF affects well-being when it is uncomfortable and leads to pronounced limitations in daily life with the patients trying to maintain or restore well-being through adapting and developing strategies for self-care. Patients base the handling of AF on their personal experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Task Performance and Analysis