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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Patients with atrial fibrillation : exploring the use of an educational website Phillips, Robyn Elaine


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common diagnosed cardiac arrhythmia worldwide and contributes to one in four cerebrovascular accidents (also called strokes) in people over the age of 40 years old in Canada. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the efficacy of a credible, educational website, used to educate people about their AF with the aim of increasing their AF knowledge and self-efficacy. A mixed-methods design was used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Participants were initially recruited through dedicated cardiac rehabilitation clinics; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recruitment was changed to online using social media (Instagram, Facebook) and by word-of-mouth. A total of nine participants completed the educational website intervention for a total of four weeks, and three participated in the follow-up semi-structured interview. Participants baseline demographics were collected following consent; AF knowledge and self-efficacy measurements were collected pre- and post-website intervention. AF knowledge was measured using the Knowledge about Atrial Fibrillation Survey and self-efficacy was measured using the Chronic Disease Self-Efficacy Scale. While using the website participants were given alias logins to allow for confidentiality to be maintained and data on website usage was collected using Google Analytics. The results of the AF knowledge and self-efficacy scores were compared using paired t-tests and showed no statistical significance between before and after scores, likely due to the small sample size. Participants used the website in various ways, from low to high website usage, which, did not have an impact on AF knowledge or self-efficacy scores. Participant’s semi-structured interviews gave light to the value participants saw in an AF website, the quality of the information on the website and recommendations for change to the website. This study illustrates that there is a place in AF education for a web-based educational tool. Researchers, patient educators and practitioners should use this study to guide AF patient education.

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