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Elderly ‘benefit from anticoagulation self management’

Self-management in elderly patients taking anticoagulation therapy is associated with improved quality of life, compared with routine care.

German researchers followed a group of 195 patients, with a mean age of over 69 years, who were undergoing long-term anticoagulation therapy.

Those patients were randomised to a routine care group or a self-management group where patients underwent structured teaching and instruction.

Treatment-related quality of life was assessed at baseline and during a final follow-up visit using a validated questionnaire. The most improvement was found in general treatment satisfaction for those undergoing self-management, with a median increase of 0.9 compared to no increase for routine care patients, a difference that was significant.

Routine care also outperformed self-management on the other questionnaire scales – general psychological distress, strained social network, daily hassles and self-efficacy.

The researchers from Goethe University, Germany, concluded: ‘It seems the benefits of self-management of oral anticoagulation on bleeding complications can be achieved without negatively affecting quality of life in elderly patients.'

Thrombosis Research 2012, 1 July