Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmias, with one in four middle-aged adults in developed countries expected to develop AF. By 2030, 14-17 million AF patients are anticipated in the European Union, with 120,000 – 215,000 newly diagnosed patients per year.
In 2014 the ESC performed a need assessment to understand the educational needs of cardiologists, neurologists & GPs/FPs in 6 countries in the following area:
- Current treatment & management of AF,
- Utilisation of optimal stroke prevention strategies with AF patients,
- Other potential issues & barriers in the management of AF.
This study identified that gaps in knowledge and skills of physicians is a major factor in poor adherence to guidelines. The two domains of AF therapy that most determine patient outcomes, namely stroke prevention and appropriate use of rhythm control, were also the two areas most in need of improvement.
This need assessment is now supporting the development of evidence-based educational interventions to be deployed in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK and Poland.
A quantitative study using Cluster Randomised trial in patients with Atrial Fibrillation will be used to assess outcome.
The start of STEEER-AF was delayed due to the current coronavirus pandemic; we aim to commence this trial when it is safe to do so and according to national lockdown policies.
STEEER-AF: a cluster-randomized education trial from the ESC: The STEEER-AF trial is designed by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) to see if better education for healthcare professionals can improve how patients are treated and how AF is managed