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Patient perspectives of participating in the cardiac CopenHeartRFA rehabilitation program for patients treated with ablation for atrial fibrillation

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


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Purpose: The CopenHeartRFA trial was designed and conducted to explore the effects of rehabilitation on patients treated with ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF). It included a cardiac rehabilitation program consisting of physical exercise and psychoeducational consultations over 6 months. As part of the evaluation of the CopenHeartRFA trial, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The intervention was delivered by a multidisciplinary team.

Aim: This study aimed to understand the experience of patients treated for AF with ablation who participated in the CopenHeartRFA cardiac rehabilitation program.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used. A purposive sample of 10 patients who had completed the intervention consented to participate. The interviews were conducted face-to-face and were audio-recorded and transcribed. Qualitative content analyses were used to analyze the data. The interviews were analyzed individually by two researchers and themes were constructed and discussed.

Results: The sample included 10 participants, mean age 54.6 years. Four categories were identified and labeled: 1) strengthening belief in one's own physical capacity and survival; 2) still struggling with fear of AF symptoms; 3) a need for support to move on; and 4) regaining confidence in one's own mental strength with support from professionals.

Conclusion: The four themes describe a positive experience from participating in the rehabilitation program. The rehabilitation program promoted self-efficacy for engaging in physical activity and the benefit of a safe environment for processing the emotional responses and the value of the therapeutic relationship between the patient and the rehabilitation provider.

TidsskriftJournal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
Sider (fra-til)167-174
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 2018

ID: 56511797