“EPs generally decide whether to take a more or less aggressive treatment approach according to the patient’s disease burden. Here, not only physical symptoms need to be taken into consideration, but also the patient’s mental health and quality of life in general. If EPs don’t know that their patients are suffering from depression they may not be offering them optimum treatments,” says Professor Karl Ladwig, the first author of the study. “Good communication between physicians and patients is of paramount importance for adherence to medications and long term prognosis.”
“When one considers the importance placed on quality of life in the AF literature these levels of discordance between physicians and patients are surprisingly large. They underline the need for physician to be trained to recognize depression in patients and for the introduction of systematic screening for depression in all AF clinics,” says Ladwig, from the Helmholtz Centre, Munich, Germany.
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