Introduction: Adherence to non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) may be lower than to vitamin K antagonists because NOACs do not require routine monitoring. Objective: We assessed the impact of an educational program on adherence and persistence with apixaban in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF). Methods: Patients with NVAF eligible for NOACs with one or more stroke risk factor (prior stroke/transient ischemic attack, age ≥ 75 years, hypertension, diabetes, or symptomatic heart failure) were randomized (1:1) to standard of care (SOC) or SOC with additional educational (information booklet, reminder tools, virtual clinic access). The primary outcome was adherence to apixaban (2.5 or 5 mg twice daily) at 24 weeks. Patients receiving the educational program were re-randomized (1:1) to continue the program for 24 further weeks or to switch to secondary SOC. Implementation adherence and persistence were reassessed at 48 weeks. Results: In total, 1162 patients were randomized (SOC, 583; educational program, 579). Mean implementation adherence ± standard deviation (SD) at 24 weeks was 91.6% ± 17.1 for SOC and 91.9% ± 16.1 for the educational program arm; results did not differ significantly between groups at any time-point. At 48 weeks, implementation adherence was 90.4% ± 18.0, 90.1% ± 18.6, and 89.3% ± 18.1 for continued educational program, SOC, and secondary SOC, respectively; and corresponding persistence was 86.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 81.3–89.7), 85.2% (95% CI 81.5–88.2), and 87.8% (95% CI 83.4–91.1). Serious adverse events were similar across groups. Conclusion: High implementation adherence and persistence with apixaban were observed in patients with NVAF receiving apixaban. The educational program did not show additional benefits. Clinical trial registration: This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov [NCT01884350].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)